Pear and Pineapple Salad (Sesame Dressing)

Pineapple and pear salad with sesame dressing.

Pear and pineapple salad with sesame dressing.

What gave me the inspiration for this salad was a ripe pear that was sitting on my kitchen counter, and in the refrigerator, the remains of a fresh pineapple.

I had prepared a baked casserole for dinner and wanted a light citrusy, fruity salad to go with it.  So, out of the refrigerator came some lettuce–iceberg and romaine, the pineapple, crumbled goat cheese and from my cupboard, some dried cranberries  because this salad seemed to need a pop of color.

IMG_6773 So, I started by chopping a mixture of lettuces and made a bottom layer on salad plates.  Then I placed a slice of pineapple on top of the lettuce and cut it into wedges.  Over that I put pear slices, arranged in spoke fashion, scattered a few dried cranberries on it, and crumbled the goat cheese on top.  Very pretty!   Now,  what to use for dressing??

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Something with an Asian flavor, I thought.  Thumbing quickly through one of my vegetarian books, I found this recipe for a sesame dressing.  Yes, perfect!   The dark sesame oil, the sesame seeds and rice wine vinegar provided an interesting flavor that paired especially well with the fruits and lettuces.  Sometimes the greatest ingredients just seem to find each other and blend so well.  I’m recording this recipe here so I don’t forget it.  Keep it in mind when you want a light, refreshing, fruity salad with a subtle Asian flair.

PEAR AND PINEAPPLE SALAD WITH SESAME DRESSING

Makes 2 salads.  Adjust ingredients accordingly for more.

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 leaves iceberg lettuce, and 2 – 3 leaves romaine lettuce.  Heavy ribs removed, leaves sliced into ribbons.
  • 2 slices fresh cored pineapple cut into wedges
  • 1 ripe fresh pear, cored and quartered, and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberriesIMG_6770
  • 2 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese

For the salad dressing:    Makes 3/4 cup

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2  1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • dash of salt to taste

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar or shaker with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake vigorously to combine and chill until ready to use.  This dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or more.

To assemble the salads,  layer the ingredients in the order given.   Drizzle with dressing just before serving.

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SOURCE;  for the dressing;  Quick Vegetarian Pleasures

 

Happy First Day of Spring, Everyone!

Pineapple Chicken (or Turkey) Salad

Pineapple chicken salad

Pineapple turkey salad

This is one of my favorite ways to make use of left-over chicken or turkey.  Ordinarily we would associate cranberries with chicken or turkey, but here the fruit is pineapple.  You might think it rather odd, but trust me it really works.  The sweet bits of pineapple provide a counterpoint to the other savory ingredients.  Once this salad is made you have several options about how to serve it.

Second-time-around turkey makes a delicious salad.

Second-time-around turkey makes a delicious salad.

The obvious way to eat it would be as a sandwich on a crusty roll,  or you could serve it as part of a salad plate as I have done here, or it makes a very nice wrap, either using a tortilla or just a large lettuce leaf.  The recipe is quick to make, and seems like a perfect light meal for springtime or any special occasion you may have coming up.  I hope you enjoy it!

The original recipe called for chicken, but I substituted turkey as that is what I had left over.

PINEAPPLE CHICKEN SALAD

turkey salad on romaine, with tomatoes, cucumbers, and pineapple.

turkey salad on romaine, with tomatoes, cucumbers, and pineapple.

Yield:   about 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2  1/2 cups shredded or diced chicken  (or turkey)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, carrots, green onions, celery and pineapple .

In another small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Stir well to combine.

Add dressing to chicken mixture and stir well to coat and evenly combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

A light, refreshing springtime lunch.

A light, refreshing springtime lunch.

SOURCE:    Cooking Light

Pina-Mango Coladas

Just in time for what is promising to be a very warm weekend, I have just the cool, refreshing drink you may be looking for.  Lately I have been experimenting with putting together various combinations of fruits plus an alcoholic ingredient of some sort to make a cocktail that we can enjoy in the late afternoon out on our deck. Some have been very Yummy, others only Eeh……  This one, I think, is one of the successful ones.  Try it, and see if you agree.

It contains pineapple, mango, and orange juice, plus dark rum.  I freeze the pineapple in chunks, also the mango, and make orange juice ice cubes.  When it is all blended together you get a thick, cold, frosty beverage that pretty much stays that way all the way to the bottom of the glass.  Then you will want to pour yourself another one!  🙂     The riper the pineapple is, the more pronounced it’s flavor will be.

My advice:  If you do not have the ingredients on hand there is still time to go to the market and get them.  Cut up and freeze the fruits, so when a hot day arrives in your neck of the woods, you will be able to zip up this drink in a jiffy.

INGREDIENTS

Servings:  about 8 @ 2/3 cups each

  • 1 (13.5 0z.) can Lite Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 1 fresh mango, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, frozen into cubes
  • 1/4 cup orange juice-not frozen
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup gold rum ( such as Bacardi Gold)
  • 8 fresh pineapple slices

1.  Arrange pineapple and mango pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet;  freeze at least an hour or overnight.  Freeze the orange juice in an ice cube tray.

2.  Combine pineapple, mango, orange juice cubes,  ice cubes, agave nectar and rum in a blender;  Process mixture until smooth.  Add coconut milk slowly thru top “feed opening” while blending.  Process just to incorporate.

3.  Serve with a pineapple slice to garnish.

Some further thoughts:  You may choose to omit the rum, and this would still be a cool, delicious drink.  I chose to use “lite” coconut milk to avoid the saturated fat in the heavy, sugary cream of coconut.  This also cuts the calories way down.  I used a darker variety of rum because it’s what I had on hand.   With its underlying hints of molasses and caramel it  compliments the coconut and pineapple but you could use any kind of rum.