Lettuce try some new ways to do salad

Radish leaves are edible, so why not try them in a salad?

Radish leaves are edible, so why not try them in a salad? (Photo by Laura Groch)

With California’s winter rains flooding out some lettuce farms, greens are going up in price nationwide. Some reports say that lettuce is going for $3.99 a head.

Well, if you use your head, you can still enjoy salads without going broke. Stores and farmers markets still have plenty of less-expensive green leaves to fill your salad bowls.

Green and red cabbage come to my mind first, especially green. Just slice the leaves into Continue reading

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Save your green with easy-to-mix salad dressing

Inexpensive ingredients for a delicious salad dressing are already in your pantry. Photo by Laura Groch

Inexpensive ingredients for a delicious salad dressing are already in your pantry. All you need is a simple recipe like this one. Photo by Laura Groch

If you’ve been checking out my posts, you know I keep returning to certain themes: Thrift in the kitchen. Eating real food. Preparing food yourself so you know what’s in it.

So in this season of salads and cold dishes — and especially for the picnic-happy holiday that is July 4 — I wanted to bring you a recipe that hits all those notes.

It’s a simple recipe for an oil- and vinegar-based salad dressing (not the kind of white Continue reading

Five more ideas on how to eat in the heat

Bleah! It’s still searingly hot outside. (Too hot for grilling, imho.) Who wants to cook anything, even if your kitchen is in air-conditioned comfort? OK, A/C does help. But still. Who wants to eat a heavy cooked meal when it’s 100 degrees out? (Have some more water.)

sandwich

Sandwiches can save the day when it’s fiendishly hot, but try ’em with some different sturdy bread or rolls. (Photo by Laura Groch)

So what can we do to feed ourselves and beat the heat, short of eating ice cream three times a day? (wait, not such a bad strategy …) Here are some reminders of cool basics for summertime meals that might spark your imagination. (Find more ideas here.)

• Remember the “beeg salad”? Invite it to dinner. On a bed of lettuces and/or greens (raw kale, cabbage shreds), add something starchy and/or grainy (cooked quinoa, pasta, bulgur, beans, potatoes), some cooked meat, chicken, tuna or hard-boiled eggs, veggies galore (tomato, chopped celery, onion, shredded carrot, cucumber, zucchini, olives, cooked Continue reading

For hot weather, some cool memories

 Southwestern Tabbouleh Salad

Southwestern Tabbouleh Salad is cool, nutritious, low-fat — and ridiculously easy to prepare. And did I say cool? (Photo by Laura Groch)

Hot, muggy weather of the sort we’ve been having lately makes me want to find cool and easy summer meals. After 25 years of relying on fans, we’ve got A/C in our home now, which is nice, but I still don’t want to heat up the kitchen too much.

Which makes me wonder — what, in those long, hot summer days before widespread air-conditioning, did my mom and her fellow homemakers do to put dinner on the table?

Continue reading

Thrifty/Nifty: Salad and sandwich makers, here’s a way to get it together

thrifty, nifty, consumer help, techniques, time-savers, veggies

All together now: Keep your sandwich/salad players in one container to speed your kitchen preparation. (Photo by Laura Groch)

I make a lot of sandwiches, and a lot of salads. Besides your basic greens, I add a lot of veggies to both: onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, radishes. I was forever searching in my fridge for each ingredient, which I had thoughtfully stored in its own little ex-cream cheese or hummus or butter tub.

One day I bought some new containers on sale (of course), in a larger size. Continue reading