With 2015 coming to an end, Precision Fitness & Wellbeing can most certainly guide you on your quest to sticking to your New Year’s goals and aspirations.  BUT, before we even start to talk about the New Year, let’s finish 2015 on a positive note by indulging and devouring (guilt-free!) on 13 heavenly, succulent, masterfully presented…

 Wonderfully Crafted Salads!

1. Mushroom Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Time: 1 HR // Servings: Six (6)

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves crushed but not peeled
  • 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, such as oyster, enoki and shiitake—thick stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 pound thickly sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 leek, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sorghum or molasses
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6 ounces sturdy baby greens, such as arugula, tatsoi, mustard or spinach
  • 3 ounces cold fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a saucepan, bring both oils to a simmer with the garlic. Cook over low heat until fragrant, 15 minutes. Strain the oil and discard the garlic. 
  2. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with 6 tablespoons of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. (Reserve the remaining garlic oil for later use.) Spread the mushrooms in a baking pan and roast for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until crisp and golden. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for 7 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool. 
  3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Strain the fat into a heatproof bowl and return half of it to the skillet. Add the leek to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sorghum, lemon juice and the remaining bacon fat. 
  4. In a large bowl, toss the greens with the vinaigrette, mushrooms and pecans. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Sprinkle with the bacon and goat cheese and serve.

2. Fennel and Bitter Greens Salad

Time: 20 MIN // Servings: Six (6)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 1-pound fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 4 small radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress, thick stems discarded
  • 5 ounces baby arugula (5 cups)
  • 1 small head of radicchio, leaves torn
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings (1 cup)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the honey. Add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. 
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet until very hot. Add the dressed salad and toss over high heat just until barely wilted in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plates and serve immediately.

3. Spinach Salad with Cannellini Beans and Shrimp

Time: 25 MIN // Servings: Four (4)

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound baby spinach (7 cups)
  • 3 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Spread the spinach on a large platter. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and cook it with the bacon over moderately high heat until just white throughout, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, season with salt and pepper and toss until heated through, about 1 minute. Scrape the shrimp and beans onto the bed of spinach. 
  2. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 1 minute. Add the mustard to the skillet and whisk in the red wine vinegar, then whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper, pour it over the salad and serve.

4. Vegetable Salad

Time: 1 HR 15 MIN // Servings: Four (4)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small beet, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 ounce feta, crumbled (1/4 cups)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.
  2. Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and walnuts to the dressing and toss. Top the salad with the feta and serve warm or at room temperature.

5. Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Time: 25 MIN // Servings: Four (4)

HD-fw200609_spinach

Ingredients:

  • 3 strips thickly sliced lean bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 2 small plums, sliced into thin wedges, or 4 fresh purple figs, quartered
  • One 5-ounce bag of baby spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup marcona or other salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, such as Cabrales
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto (8 slices)

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon in the olive oil over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shallot, vinegar, mustard and thyme. 
  2. Scrape the dressing into a large bowl. Add the plums and spinach, season with salt and pepper and toss. Add the nuts and crumbled blue cheese and toss again. Transfer the salad to plates, top with the sliced ham and serve.

6. Duck and Cabbage Salad

Time: 35 MIN // Servings: Four (4)

HD-200902-r-warm-cabbage

Ingredients:

  • 3 duck confit legs
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 10-ounce Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 large head of Napa cabbage, finely shredded (8 cups)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the broiler and set an oven rack 3 inches from the heat. Set the duck on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet, until the skin is crisp and browned all over. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the potato and cook over moderately high heat until golden, 8 minutes. Add the shallot and cook over moderately low heat for 1 minute. Add the capers and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the red wine vinegar and mustard and season with salt and pepper.

7. Potato Salad with Pancetta and Brown Butter Dressing

Time: 40 MIN // Servings: Six (6)

HD-200807-warm-potato-salad

Ingredients:

  • Salt
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • One 2-inch rosemary sprig
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook over high heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, shaking off any excess water. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is golden and the butter is just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the shallot and rosemary sprig and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and discard the rosemary sprig. 
  3. Whisk the vinegar and mustard into the pancetta mixture; season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and the chives and toss until evenly coated. Serve the potato salad warm or at room temperature.

8. Spaghetti Squash Salad 

Time: 40 MIN // Servings: Eight (8)

HD-200903-r-spaghetti-squash

Ingredients: 

  • One 4-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives, such as Cerignola
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 ounces Greek feta, crumbled ( 1/4 cup)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti squash and cook until it is al dente, about 12 minutes; drain. Place the spaghetti squash halves cut side down on a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, spread the sliced almonds on a pie plate and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes, until lightly golden. In a mini food processor, combine the chopped olives with the sliced scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice and canola oil and pulse until finely chopped. 
  3. Working over a medium bowl and using a fork, scrape the spaghetti squash into the bowl, separating the strands. Add the dressing along with the crumbled feta and toasted almonds and season with salt and white pepper. Toss the spaghetti squash salad and serve warm.

9. Chicory Salad with Mushrooms 

Time: 35 MIN // Servings: Six (6)

HD-201401-r-warm-chicory-salad-with-mushrooms

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thickly sliced
  • 1/4 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 Belgian endive, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small head of radicchio, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small head of escarole, inner pale leaves only, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved (1/2 cup)

Instructions: 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the shallot with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes, then whisk in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and tender, about 8 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the dressing and toss to coat. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the endive, radicchio, escarole and parsley. Using a slotted spoon, add the mushrooms. Drizzle with some of the dressing from the skillet, season with salt and pepper and toss. Add the shaved cheese and gently toss. Serve right away, passing any remaining dressing at the table.

10. Squash, Apple and Lentil Salad 

Time: Active 30 MIN, Total 1 HR // Servings: Sixteen (16)

HD-201312-r-squash-apple-and-warm-lentil-salad

Ingredients: 

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups French green lentils (14 ounces), rinsed
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 medium acorn squash (3 pounds)—scrubbed, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple—quartered, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 small head radicchio, leaves torn into small pieces
  • Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Instructions: 

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils, thyme and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the lentils to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of chives and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk the butter with the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; season with salt and pepper.

11. Sweet Potato and Mushroom Salad

Time: 45 MIN // Servings: Four (4)

HD-201312-r-sweet-potato-and-mushroom-salad

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 pound wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), preferably Japanese white, scrubbed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped chives, for garnish

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small bowl, whisk the miso with the mustard, 1/4 cup of the canola oil and 2 tablespoons of water. 
  2. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms and sweet potatoes with the remaining 3 tablespoons of canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes and add the mushrooms. Roast for 10 minutes longer, until the potatoes are tender and golden and the mushrooms are browned. Transfer the potatoes and mushrooms to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with chives and serve warm.

12. Spinach and Shrimp Salad with Chile Dressing 

Time: 25 MIN // Servings: Four (4)

HD-200902-r-spinach-shrimp

Ingredients: 

  • 8 cups baby spinach (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Holland or serrano chile, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound cooked large shrimp

Instructions: 

  1. In a large bowl, toss the spinach, peas and tomatoes. In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat until lightly golden, 4 minutes. Add the chile, ginger, cumin and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season the dressing with salt and pepper. 
  2. Add the shrimp to the salad. Pour the warm chile dressing over the salad, toss well and serve at once.

13. Brown Rice Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, Mint, and Feta

Time: Active 15 MIN, Total 1 HR 15 Min // Servings: Six (6)

HD-201311-r-brown-rice-salad-with-cranberries-walnuts-mint-and-feta

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Instructions: 

  1. In a large sauce pan, sauté shallot in 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat until softened, about three minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350º. Spread the walnuts on a small baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Roughly chop. 
  3. Combine rice with remaining tablespoon of olive oil, red wine vinegar, walnuts, cranberries, mint, and feta.

 

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Homemade salad dressing

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