Tag Archives: cooking light

Spring Spinach Salad with Pears, Walnuts & Chicken, & Pear Mustard Dressing

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ImageYou know some of us bloggers – you hear nothing for weeks then boom! Blogger frenzy! I’m just in a salad/low calorie/lose a few pounds mode, so I am making a lot of soups and salads. Spring always provides some good fresh ingredients, like pears! When you buy what’s in season, you sometimes end up with a 10 pound bag of whatever from Costco, and that’s exactly what I had, along with a huge container of fresh baby spinach. I used a similar recipe from Whole Foods, but made some subs and changed it up a bit. ENJOY!

Spring Spinach Salad with Pears, Walnuts, Feta and Cucumber

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 Anjou pears
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon deli-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 pound spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 4 ounces low fat feta cheese
  • 1/2 large english cucumber, sliced
  • Optional: shredded rôtisserie chicken
Chop 1 pear and slice the remaining two. Put chopped pear, oil, vinegar, mustard and honey into a blender and purée. If needed, stir in 1- 2 tablespoons water to thin for a pourable dressing. Put spinach, onion, walnuts, feta, sliced pears, cucumber and dressing into a large bowl and toss gently to coat. Plate and top with a toasted walnuts and handful of shredded chicken. Serve immediately.

Pad Thai with Lime, Chicken & Shrimp

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Succulent!

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Succulent…What a great word with a variety of meanings! When trying to come up with a name for this blog, I started with one idea – my love for the many varieties of succulent plants! But in looking up the definition, the meaning of succulent is also “full of juice, juicy, moist and tasty, toothsome (now there’s one I haven’t heard in a while!) and especially love…rich in interest!

The past two years I became interested in the new assortment of succulent plants and their unique variation, colors, textures and ease of care. My yard is basically made up of all the same fifteen or more plants, which I cut and replant (more on this to come.) I have planted them in pots, in a vintage wood ice cream maker, in flower beds, margarita glasses, crates, inside frames, and on wood blocks. I can’t wait to share with you many ideas on the joy of succulents.

Another passion I have is cooking! Back in the early 80’s I got married and only knew how to open a can of Spam and make scallop potatoes from a box – that was the extent of my know-how. But over time, I was inspired to try new things, thanks to great magazines like Cooking Light  and Bon Apetit. Things didn’t always turn out perfectly, but I found out there was more to cooking than canned pork and dehydrated vegetables.

Succulent also says in a word the location in which I am blessed to live: San Clemente, California. It’s a small beach town on the far end of Orange County and just north of San Diego. Our family vacationed here over the past several decades, and when we had an opportunity to move here two years ago, we jumped on it. Known for it’s amazing climate and small surf town feel, it’s a place I hope you can come and visit. I can’t wait to write and tell you all about the great little finds in my neighborhood: eateries, consignment stores, “locals only” spots, the best hidden beaches, and striking sunset locations!

One way we spend many of our weekends is hitting the variety of yard sales in the southern Orange County area! I go looking for new and inexpensive ways to display plants, plate food, and decorate the yard. I would love for you to share your great finds as well! It’s good for the planet when we reuse, recycle, and repurpose old junk!

Well this is a good start! I hope you enjoy reading and exploring. Please join us for updates!