Posts Tagged ‘Salad’
Andre and I have been trying to eat healthier lately. We already cut out all fast food and most processed foods. I cook at home most days and always from scratch. We are trying to eat more veggies and we started with adding salad to our diet. We have been getting the 1 pound box of mixed greens from Costco and have it for dinner or bring it to work for lunch. Andre makes a delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing for the salad, which is simple and delicious.
However, I wanted to mix it up a bit and try something different. This last time at Costco, we bought a big box of Bartlett pears which are delicious to eat. I had a great idea to put some in our salad today. (more…)
We have been inspired to eat salads lately, thanks to our friend, Pam. She makes the most amazing salads! Actually she’s a wonderful cook and I can really learn a few things from her. Her Brazilian dishes are the best!
We have been buying the huge box of Spring Mix salad from Costco and have been putting my OXO salad spinner to good use! When we make salads, it is pretty much a team effort. I wash the greens, cut up and prep any additional ingredients, and AM makes the dressing. For some godforsaken reason I cannot make a decent salad dressing. It is quite frustrating.
It’s also peach season and we picked up a box of Strawberry Heirloom peaches from Costco (where else?). They are still a bit raw but very sweet. Somewhere in the back of my head, I had an idea for adding peaches to our salad tonight. I did some googling and decided on cooking the peaches to soften them up and get them plumped up a bit. While googling, a few recipes for peach salad with pecans came up. Since we only had walnuts at home, I thought, why not make some candied walnuts? Brilliant!
The different flavors and textures worked extremely well together! What success! I wish I could be this brilliant all the time. HA!
AM is a true cook and I’m more of a baker. His cooking methodology is to take a bunch of ingredients and throw them together without really measuring anything. I think he would do well on a show like Chopped on the Food Network where the contestants are given a basket of mystery ingredients that don’t always sound like they would go well together and a lot of times the ingredients are rare and exotic. Me on the other hand would totally panic under those circumstances and demand a recipe with all the measurements spelled out. In any case, I will estimate the amounts for his dressing but really you should taste it and add ingredients to your palate’s liking.
(Adapted from epicurious.com)
Cooking oil spray (I used canola oil spray)
2 cups walnuts
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Spray oil on a baking sheet.
3. In a bowl, mix walnuts, honey, sugar, and salt.
4. Spread the walnut mixture on the baking sheet.
5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the sugars bubble and the walnuts brown.
6. When the walnuts are cooling on the baking sheet, make sure to stir around with a wooden spoon so they do not stick to the baking sheet. If the walnuts stick after they are cooled, use a metal knife and carefully scrape the walnuts off the baking sheet.
(My own recipe)
1 large peach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Remove the pit from the peach and cut the peach into wedges
2. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
3. When the pan is hot, saute the peaches for about 5-10 minutes. This time depends on how ripe your peaches are. Since my peach was not that ripe, I cooked the wedges longer.
AM’S BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
(AM’s own recipe)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon thyme
1. Stir all ingredients together.
2. Mix into salad.
AM suggested having a date night this week. We had done this once or twice in the past but because of financial constraints, we had halted this practice. It was a great suggestion because we have been cooking a lot at home lately and wanted to mix it up a bit to tickle our palates. We had heard about this great little Greek place in Kahala called Olive Tree Cafe so we decided to take this opportunity to go check it out.
The cafe is situated near the Kahala Mall. There is a small parking corner and when we got there, we didn’t have to wait long to get a spot. Olive Tree Cafe is a small establishment with no waiter service. You order at the counter from the menu posted on the board. It was quite busy when we got there around 6PM. There are about 10 small round tables inside that would fit two people comfortably each. There are also more tables outside, which reminded me of a sidewalk cafe. There are hardly any sidewalk cafes in Honolulu, which is a shame. NYC is full of side walk cafes and I love having a casual brunch or lunch at one. It is nice to sit outside with the elements and to people watch.
The Olive Tree Cafe does not serve alcohol but they do allow BYOB. Conveniently enough, there is a wine and liquor store right next door! There were a lot of people enjoying bottles of wine in the cafe. The cafe charges $0.50 for using their glasses if you BYOB and provides a corkscrew at the counter for your bottle. The staff at Olive Tree Cafe are super nice too. We decided to take our order to go because all the tables were taken. The guy at the counter told us to call our order in next time so we didn’t have to wait and proceeded to write down their phone number for us.
On to the food! We ordered hummus with pita bread, a Greek salad, mussels ceviche, and a New Zealand lamb souvlaki. Everything was delicious!
The hummus was really good but not too garlicky like a lot of versions out there. It actually had a sesame and somewhat peanut buttery taste. Very unique and tasty. The pita were sliced on the thin side. I think I would have preferred a bit more pita and larger pita wedges because we had leftover hummus even after we slathered each pita slice full with the spread.
The Greek salad was very colorful, which means it had a variety of vegetables so it is super healthy. It was also very fresh! Crisp lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes that were not mushy. I really liked the feta cheese and the homemade dressing. We finished this salad with no lettuce leaf to spare, not even an olive. We really enjoyed it.
The mussels were cold as they are a ceviche and is topped with a lime ginger herb sauce and capers. It was a very tasty combination. The saltiness of the capers offset the tartness of the lime and went really well together.
The New Zealand lamb souvlaki was very tasty. The meat is served kebab style in a pita bread with good amount of tzatziki sauce. The lamb was tender and very well seasoned. It was so good. The other souvlaki choices on the menu are fish and chicken. This dish comes with a side of salad and like the Greek salad, we polished this one off as well. It must be that delicious homemade dressing.
There was baklava on the menu too but we thought it would be too much so it will an excuse for us to visit again and not only try the dessert but also the other items on the menu.
Price: $33.00 plus tax
Verdict: TASTY! I would definitely recommend Olive Tree Cafe to anyone looking for delicious Greek fare in Honolulu.
Olive Tree Cafe
4614 Kilauea Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
Open daily 5PM – 10PM