Kale Salad with Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing

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There’s a restaurant in Reno called Campo that makes a kale salad and, not even kidding, it makes me crave kale salads.  It’s lemony, garlicky, and topped with crispy parmesan and a poached egg.  I think about it a lot and have considered going there just for a kale salad and their caramel budino, but I don’t want to be judged by the servers, even though I think kale + caramel pudding is the epitome of balance.  I guess you could call the salad “famous” by Reno standards, and the original owner of the restaurant was even nice enough to post the full recipe online.

In an effort to convince you guys I don’t constantly eat potatoes and brownies, I decided to post this kale salad, which is a typical meal I serve on the weekdays.  This came about after I looked through my Insta the other day and noticed that practically everything is covered in cheese or sugar, aside from the carrot salad I’ve been obsessing over lately.  Obviously, it’s inspired by my favorite at Campo, but unfortunately this particular version is not served with the bacon-y bolognese, wine, and a caramel budino that I’ve grown accustomed to.  However, what I love about this salad is that I can come home from work, take the puppy on a walk, work out, and quickly whip up a full meal in like, 10 minutes, which I eat while watching Friends or Arrested Development for the millionth time.  I have that spring-fever if you can’t tell.

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A few years ago, back when SSL was just a baby blog, I posted a recipe for “healthy” Caesar dressing made with Greek yogurt.  Back then, I couldn’t find recipes for Greek yogurt Caesar online, but I knew it would work, and I was determined to find a healthier Caesar alternative.  I was way big into tags like “healthy”, “low-fat” “sugar-free”, etc. back then, which I have clearly moved on from.  However, that Caesar dressing was actually pretty healthy, and it quickly became the most popular recipe on my blog thanks to Pinterest.  I was going through it the other day and cringing at the old pictures, which I’m sure were taken on an iPhone in my parent’s kitchen.  Inspired by Campo’s salad, I decided to recreate the dressing to fit my current tastes.  It is essentially the same recipe aside from a couple tiny changes (which I will note).  I also wanted to update the pictures and show a different way to make a Caesar.  Another plus: beside it being a healthier alternative to regular dressing, I love how creamy and tangy the Greek yogurt makes this dressing, or any dressing for that matter.

P.S. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think I might actually like my version of this kale salad better than Campo’s (???).  It’s creamy, garlicky, lemony, and totally meant for a poached egg.  Of course, no recipe I make will ever beat Campo’s caramel budino 🤷

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Kale Salad with Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing
Serves 4 (side dish) or 2 (meal)

Ingredients for Salad

6-8 c. dinosaur kale (or curly kale)
1/2 c. parmesan, shredded
2-4 poached eggs (2 for meal, 4 for side)
Lemon, for serving
Pepper, for serving

Ingredients for Dressing

1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbs. parmesan, grated
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Cover a cookie sheet in parchment paper and spray well with olive oil or cooking spray.  Place 1 Tbs. of parmesan in a little mound, making 8 mounds.  Spread each mound out into an even layer.  Bake for about 6-8 minutes or until crispy.  Let cool and remove from baking sheet.

Remove kale leaves from the tough stems.  Chop into bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.

To make the dressing, whisk together the Greek yogurt, parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon juice, and Dijon.  Drizzle in olive oil while whisking, until incorporated.  Whisk in water, to thin.  Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, place kale on a platter.  Toss with the desired amount of Caesar dressing.  Place parmesan crisps on top whole, or crumble them.  Serve with warm poached eggs, fresh pepper, and lemon.  I also like red pepper flakes on the top of my salad.

*Note: The original recipe had 1/2 Tbs. parmesan, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. spicy brown mustard, 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. olive oil, and 2-3 tsp. of water.  This version is still good although a little less flavorful than the updated recipe.


xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Chronic Sunshine by Cosmo Pyke

 

BLT Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

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Clearly, I’ve been having a moment with BLTs lately.  This is the second BLT-related post in the past month, which some may claim is incredulous, but I think is completely justified since bacon + bread + in-season tomatoes = heaven.  Also, can we take a moment to literally laugh out loud, because in that same Basic BLT post, I went on and on and on about how there are just some foods, such as BLTs, that should be left alone (I believe the direct quote was “BLTs should be BLTs and nothing more”) and then I turn around and turn a classic into a salad.  Blasphemy.  Who gave me this kind of power?

To make up for my intense hypocrisy, I may even forgive you if you decide to say, put something like turkey on your BLT, which I still believe is just a club sandwich, so if you’re going to get that far, you might as well add some good swiss to the mix.  However, I do ask that you maintain your dignity while doing so.  If I happen to come across a BLT utilizing ridiculous ingredients such curry powder or sauerkraut as an act of outright defiance against my Rule of Simplicity, we’ll have a problem here, people.

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Since it’s Labor Day weekend a.k.a. probably the last BBQ weekend of the year (at least for us colder cities), I thought I’d share this salad recipe, which goes perfectly with Tri-tip and grilled corn, burgers, or brats.  It only takes about 15 minutes to mix up, which leaves you plenty of time to enjoy your last late-night patio session of the summer before the fall creeps in.  I’m already starting to miss summer and the fresh food that comes along with it, but I can’t wait to share some wonderful fall-inspired recipes that I’ve been testing lately.  I hope you love pie, spices, and savory food straight out of the oven, because there’s plenty of that making its way to my little corner of the internet.  Also, probably some good sweater and Tahoe pics, since you know I love sharing my fun trips and outfits with you all ♥  Stay tuned for more!

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I hope you have an amazing Labor Day weekend with your friends and family!

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Life Itself by Glass Animals

Potatoes Au Gratin

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The other day while browsing Instagram, I came across a Food52 post about their new app (Not)Recipes.  Basically, the premise of the app is that it is a place for cooks to share recipes, without measurements, that they make up on the spot when they’re too busy to bother with a super complicated list of ingredients and 100 steps until completion.  A.K.A. My perfect dream app (which is saying a lot, because to be honest I’m not huge on having a bunch of apps on my phone).  I immediately decided on my (not) recipe, put on my Lumineers CD, and got to work melding potatoes and cheese together in cute, tiny ramekins.  Then I went to download the app, but damn it, my ancient, Mesozoic era iPhone (an iPhone 5, but whatever..) wouldn’t let me download the thing, because it’s too outdated (thanks Apple!).  Plus, there’s no iPad version.  Wah-wah.  I was sorta bummed, because I cook without recipes all the time, but I guess not all hope is lost, because really, the whole point of writing a blog is that I can share whatever recipes I want, even if they’re not necessarily recipes.  (P.S. definitely not saying anything bad about Food52 or Apple!  I’m a big fan of both, although I wouldn’t mind if they made a  version of the (Not)Recipe app for oldie-iPhones :-))

When I think of meals made without recipes, I think of potatoes au gratin.  While this may not necessarily be a meal to most people, I have definitely eaten my fair share of potatoes au gratin for dinner on Sundays after long days of work and studying.  Plus, I’m pretty convinced that if you add bacon, it qualifies as a meal (probably).  However, I’m always a fan of potatoes au gratin as a side dish too.  Essentially, cheesy potatoes are always a good idea.

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With Easter around the corner, I was also hoping to post a nice Easter-y recipe.  In my family, Easter always involves potatoes + cheese, and since I was already planning on making potatoes au gratin for my failed (Not)Recipes submission, it seemed like fate, or at the very least, convenient.  Potatoes au gratin are perfect for Easter Sunday, but you could also add leftover ham as an easy weeknight meal.  Definitely not a healthy dinner route, but sometimes potatoes, cheese, and ham are necessary for getting through life.

Growing up, my family always celebrated Easter with a nice brunch or dinner, and the Easter bunny left my brother and I presents on the bench on our front porch.  We almost always got a VHS tape, new shoes, and some Easter candy in our baskets.  Sometimes we would get a small toy to play with, and I distinctly remember getting a lime green Skip-It one year.  My parents recently decided to move back to their hometown of Reno in the next couple of months, and today I found out that they accepted an offer on my childhood home.  The sale is incredibly bittersweet, since my parents will be much closer, but I also will be losing the home that gave me the best childhood memories, such as hunting for Easter eggs or playing with my new Skip-It.  Today has been kind of sad, but I know that I will always fondly remember cheesy potatoes on Easter, opening Christmas presents with my little brother, Thanksgiving family dinners, and all the amazing memories I had growing up with my friends and family in that home.

Thanks to Potatoes Au Gratin for the nostalgia!

*Note: When I made this recipe, I just threw all the ingredients together, but in the recipe I included some approximate measurements from potatoes I have made in the past.  For this recipe, I used thyme and cheddar cheese, but the recipe can be adapted to use whatever ingredients you want.

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Happy Easter!

XO SaraLynn.

*Song of the Day: Flowers in Your Hair by The Lumineers

Four Bean Salad with Dill Vinaigrette

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Hello all 🙂

I was on a mini hiatus which I feel awful about but it has been a crazy, crazy few weeks.  And it’s only getting crazier from here on out.

First off, I have finals all this week and next week. Then my graduation ceremony.  Then my graduation party.  Then moving.  And then college.  Plus everything in between.  AHH!

Only two more months and I’ll be laying on a beach in Hawaii…

But until then, I have to keep up with my normal daily life.  Eating right, working out, etc. etc.  Sigh.

Luckily, it hasn’t been too difficult to eat right some of the creations I’ve been coming up with lately.  Seriously, I’m on a roll.  Expect some awesome recipes when I get around to blogging them (again, hiatus, sorry).

But first, I’ll start off with my four bean salad.

This salad was perfect alongside grilled chicken and asparagus for dinner and then a turkey and pepper jack sandwich the next day.  It pretty much goes with everything summer-y.  Which is awesome because I am in the summer mood!  Seriously, how many more days of school?

The reason I chose 4 beans instead of the traditional 3 is simple.  The beans were on sale 4 for $5.  And I used cannellini and navy beans in place of green beans just because I like the taste better.

I’m quite complex aren’t I?

Ingredients:

1 can kidney beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can cannellini beans

1 can navy beans

1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

3-4 Tbs. olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs. honey

2 tsp. dried dill (you can replace with fresh)

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. parsley

1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. dill pickle juice (optional, but highly recommended)

Drain and rinse the beans in a colander.  Mix together in a big salad bowl.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Pour over beans and mix together.

You can serve it immediately or after a day or two.  I like to let it marinate the beans for a day before I eat it because it makes it so much more flavorful!

It’s quite possibly the easiest recipe and it tastes so good!  You could also add onion, celery, or whatever else you want.

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Let me know what you all think of this recipe!

XOXO Sara