Sunday, July 8, 2012

Queso Fresco Caesar - Recipe Remix!

Getting more greens and vegetables in your body is essential and making a quick salad is the best way to do it.  One of my biggest pleasures to to pull together a quick salad for myself or a friend.  They are always amazed that I can pull things from the refrigerator and make up something quick that they would get at a restaurant.  What's funny about it is that I just make it up as I go. 

I look to see what I have a available to work with and then run from there.  I might not have all the right ingredients to make a certain salad, however I use my imagination and the techniques from a specific recipe and combine the ingredients I have on hand to make it work.  That's what I call a Recipe Remix! 

Yesterday I wanted a quick salad, something grilled.  So I look in my fridge and found Queso Fresco Cheese, a Portabella Mushroom, Romaine Lettuce, Broccoli Slaw and about 1 cup of Baby Spinach & Arugula that needed to be used up.  

I decided to marinate the Portabella Mushroom and throw it on the grill.  While that was cooking I whipped up a Mexican Style Caesar Salad.  I didn't want much dressing so I didn't make a big batch o Caesar Dressing.  I just pulled out some mayonnaise and used just a little bit to give my dressing a creamy texture.   Then I swapped Lemon for Lime juice because that is what I had left on my counter.  And I swapped the Parmesan Cheese for Queso Fresco Cheese.  

When I make a quick salad, I use a large bowl that I want to mix the salad in and make the dressing first.  Just enough to coat the salad that I'm making.  Then I add the greens and toss it.  Transfer it to a plate and add something to it.  This time it was the Grilled Portabella Mushroom.  

This was a great fast salad, lots of textures and flavors going on.  I'm definitely going to make it again.

Queso Fresco Caesar Salad

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Lime, Juiced
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1/2 Garlic Clove, Minced
¼ Cup Queso Fresco Cheese, Crumbled
Pinch Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

1 Romaine Head, Chopped
1 Cup Chopped Arugula & Spinach Mix
½ Cup Mixed Broccoli Slaw
¼ Cup Cilantro, Chopped
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes (Garnish)

Make Dressing:
Select a large bowl that the salad can be tossed in and make the dressing first. 
Add Mayonnaise, Worcestershire Sauce, Red Wine Vinegar, Lime Juice, Garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Mix those together well.  Add seasoning of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.  Add the crumbled Queso Fresco Cheese and mix together.

On top of dressing add -  Chopped Romaine, Arugula, Spinach, Cilantro and Broccoli Slaw.  Toss to mix together coating the dressing over salad.

Transfer to a plate and garnish with sliced Cherry or Grape Tomatoes.  This salad is good with a grilled marinated Portabella Mushroom or grilled Chicken.

Recipe Remix Ideas

Another thing that I do is use leftovers to make up a quick salad.  I had some leftover chicken from Friday Night that was cooked in some seasoned tomatoes with herbs and had a large breast left over.  Instead of looking at that left over chicken as an entree, I sliced it up and used it on two different salads just by adding something else to it to make a new meal.

This first salad I added some of the Grilled Sweet Potato & Beet Salad that was left over from Thursday (Click Here for Recipe).  Refreshed it by adding some fresh Cilantro, Chopped Walnuts and Feta Cheese Crumbles.  Then I just make a quick side salad of Baby Spinach & Arugula (I buy the packaged prewashed and premixed to have on hand).  Made a quick dressing by adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and fresh Lemon Juice.  

This next salad I used the same Chicken Breast (other half), sliced it thin, then added a Chopped Raw Zucchini Salad to it.  All I did was slice the zucchini up in pieces and added a Cilantro Gremolata which has a punch of flavor (Click Here for Recipe) and that was it.  I added it to a small bed of baby spinach for added vitamins and volume.  That is another thing you want to do is add volume so you get more nutrient rich foods, your filled up and you don't feel cheated.

I hope these recipe tips help you incorporate more greens and vegetables into your day by making a quick and easy lunch.  

Have a Delicious Day!