Cooking With Honey – Mixed Greens With Honey Oregano Vinaigrette And Crispy Prosciutto

oregano salad

For the last two months I’ve been traveling the East Coast attending Bee Meetings and visiting adult children. It’s been lots of fun although I feel a bit like a long haul trucker. 🙂

I’ve visited the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, and the beehive/kitchen garden at the White House in Washington DC. I’ll be posting about my trips over the next few weeks.

Of course I’ve been eating and drinking along the way !! One of my favorite meals was at Nonna’s Italian in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where I had one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted. Not surprisingly, the original recipe calls for honey!!

Whether you make this salad as a prelude to a meal or for the meal itself, I guarantee you will enjoy it!!

Yield:  10 servings

Dressing:

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black or red pepper, depending on your taste

3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Place all ingredients in lidded jar and shake until combined. Let stand for up to two hours for flavors to blend.

Crispy Prosciutto:

Twelve slices prosciutto.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide prosciutto between baking sheets, laying them flat. Bake until fat turns golden and meat is darker, about 15 minutes (rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking time). Using tongs, carefully transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain (it will crisp as it cools). Crispy prosciutto can be used like bacon, in whole pieces or crumbled.

Salad:

Twelve cups mixed greens

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings

12 small/cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters

1 tablespoon capers

1/4 cup sliced and pitted kalamata olives

12 slices crispy prosciutto, crumbled fine.

Directions:

Mix well and serve with Italian bread and olive oil.

Honey Broccoli And Pasta Salad

broccoli-grape-pasta-salad-sl-l

The weather is finally warm, and this pasta salad is tangy and delicious.  Just the thing for summer!

This salad is also good with blanched and sliced asparagus.

Yield:  6 generous servings

Ingredients

1 cup pine nuts

1/2 (16-oz.) package bow-tie pasta

1 pound fresh broccoli

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup diced red onion

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups seedless red grapes, halved

8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pine nuts in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.

Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and toasted pine nuts into salad just before serving.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 9 – Salmon Salad With Honey, Capers And Dill

salmon salad

This is another of my favorite recipes.  The honey glaze on the salmon blends beautifully with the raspberry vinegar!

Yield:  2 to 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound , Honey Raspberry Glazed Salmon, chilled

1/2 cup small-diced celery (1 1/2 stalks)

1/4 cup small-diced red onion (1/2 small onion)

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Break the salmon into very large flakes, removing any skin and bones, and place the salmon in a bowl. Add the celery, red onion, dill, capers, raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Season, to taste. Mix well and serve cold or at room temperature.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 6 – Warm Duck Salad

duck salad

Day 6 and all is well!  It’s over 60 degrees here, and I’m going to get out on my road bike if it doesn’t rain!

If you made roast duck from Day 5, you can use it in this salad. If not, the directions for preparing duck breast is below. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 to 2 servings

Ingredients

1 boneless duck breast, skin on (about 6 to 7 ounces) (or leftover duck from Day 5)

Kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon minced shallots

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/4 tablespoons good sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 head Belgian endive

1 ounce mache or other delicate baby lettuce

Navel orange, peeled, cut in 1/2, and sliced

1/4 pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup toasted whole pecan halves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the duck breast on a sheet pan, skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and roast for about 20 minutes, until medium-rare. Remove from the oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the fat and skin on top (unless you’re making cracklings), slice the duck, and then cut the slices crosswise into julienned pieces.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the shallots, honey, sherry vinegar, orange zest, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

For the salad, trim the bottom half-inch from the endive and cut them diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Separate the leaves and discard the cores. Place the slices in a large salad bowl. Add the mache leaves, oranges, raspberries, and toasted pecans. Toss with enough dressing to moisten. Gently toss in the warm duck meat and serve immediately.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day Two – Grilled Tuna Salad With Avocado and Honey

Fat bee

The Diet is going well!  I haven’t felt a bit deprived and I’ve already lost a pound! I’m pretty sure I could live on Broiled Grapefruit with Honey and Cinnamon.  🙂

I don’t want to get bored, though, so here is another delicious Romancing The Bee Diet recipe. Enjoy!!

Grilled tuna salad

Yield:  2-4 servings

Ingredients

1 pound very fresh tuna steak, 1-inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling

Grated zest of 1 lime

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

5 dashes Tabasco sauce

1 minced scallion, white and green parts

1 firm, ripe Haas avocado, medium and diced

1/8 cup finely diced red onion

Directions

Brush a heated grill pan with oil. Brush both sides of the tuna with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook the tuna for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate. The tuna will be cooked on the outside and raw inside. Allow to cool slightly and cut it into medium-diced pieces.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, wasabi powder, honey, soy sauce, Tabasco, 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the sauce to the tuna, add the scallion, avocados, and red onion, and mix well. The sauce will “cook” the raw parts of the tuna after it sits for a few minutes.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – The Essentials

Fat bee

Okay, here is the diet I made up.  I’m no expert, but I’ve been on just about every diet there is with varying levels of success. I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

All of the foods allowed on the Romancing The Bee Diet (“RTBD”) are low (below 55) on the Glycemic Index (GI).

The GI is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike. A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.

For me, a food with a low GI keeps me satisfied longer and naturally suppresses my appetite. The variety of foods allowed enables me to still cook creatively!

Foods allowed on the RTBD are listed below. If it’s not on the list, I’m not going to eat it!!

Lean meats such as beef, skinless chicken, lamb, pork loin and veal – 8 ounces per day, OR

Any type of seafood without breading or batter – 8 ounces per day, OR

Three eggs per day (3 ounces), OR

Any combination of the above, not to exceed a total of 8 ounces of protein per day.

One grapefruit per day

One lemon per day

Apples or pears – two per day, total.

Non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, salad greens, winter greens, onions, and garlic. (unlimited)

1 avocado per day

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (not light) or mayonnaise made with olive oil (not light), or a combination of these, not to exceed two tablespoons total.

2 tablespoons bleu cheese or parmesan cheese

Unlimited – Tea, diet soda, water, Vinegar, Tabasco, salt, pepper, fresh and dried spices and Dijon Mustard.

1 five ounce glass of wine per day, preferably red. (May be used in cooking)

EATING BREAKFAST IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED!

That’s it.  No counting of calories or carbs or points.  I’m hopeful that the small amounts of “naughty” foods will keep me from feeling deprived, while still allowing me to lose 2-3 pounds per week.

New Year’s Eve – Mixed Winter Greens With Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

winter greens salad.

Yield:  4-6 servings

Ingredients

8 cups (10 oz. bag) mixed winter greens, such as frisée, arugula, mustard, beet greens, chicory, escarole.

1 pomegranate

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix mustard, Champagne vinegar, honey and garlic.

Then, whisking constantly with a fork, slowly add 6 tablespoons olive oil, until the vinaigrette is thick and creamy

Dress clean, dry salad greens immediately before serving. Add pomegranate seeds for accent.

Winter Salads – Maytag Blue Cheese Salad

wedge-salad-new

This salad is SO good, it will make you forget all about sugarplums…

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients

1 egg

6 ounces Maytag Blue cheese

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Salt and black pepper

1 1/2 cups olive oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

Dash Worcestershire sauce

Dash pepper sauce

6 cups hearts of Romaine lettuce or Iceberg lettuce wedges

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts or pine nuts

6 ounces crispy bacon

2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced

2 scallions, chopped

Directions

In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, combine the egg, 4 ounces of the blue cheese, mustard, honey and garlic. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture is thick. With the machine running, add the buttermilk. Season the dressing with the Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, salt, and pepper.

In a mixing bowl, toss the hearts of Romaine with as much dressing as desired as well as the bacon, tomatoes and toasted nuts.

Place the Romaine or wedges in the center of each of four plates. If you are using Iceberg lettuce wedges, pour dressing over them and sprinkle with bacon, tomatoes and nuts.

Sprinkle each salad with the remaining blue cheese and chopped scallions.

Winter Salads – Warm Spinach Salad With Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

spinach salad

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

10 ounces baby spinach (about 12 cups)

6 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup canola oil

3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

Directions

Combine spinach, mushrooms, and almonds in a large serving bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add garlic and shallot and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until garlic is browned, about 2 minutes, then add vinegar and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and stir in honey until dissolved.

Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Winter Salads – Honey-Roasted Root Vegetable And Arugula Salad

“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist — the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one’s vinegar.”  Oscar Wilde

Makes 4 servings

Roasted Vegetables

1 pound medium beets, with 1 inch of the stem attached

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 small white onions (about 3/4 pound), cut into 2-inch wedges

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons honey, warmed

1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves

4 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup minced fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon and flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salad

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced herbs, such as chives, tarragon and flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups packed arugula leaves (from two 4-ounce bunches)

Preheat the oven to 400°. Tightly wrap the beets in a double layer of aluminum foil and roast them on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and cut them into 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, divide the carrots, parsnips and turnips between 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Toss the vegetables in each pan with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Arrange the onion wedges on the baking sheets, keeping them intact. Brush the onion wedges all over with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Generously season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes. Brush the vegetables with the warm honey and sprinkle with the sage. Continue to roast the vegetables for 25 minutes longer, or until they are tender and glazed. Loosen the vegetables with a spatula and let them cool to room temperature in the pans.

In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the herbs and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the vinegar, garlic and herbs; season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and arrange on plates. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl and toss with the remaining vinaigrette. Top the arugula with the vegetables, dot each plate with small spoonfuls of the herbed goat cheese and serve.