- Oven Roasting / Toasting
All of these recipes can be executed quickly and easily on a daily basis for fresh, money saving, and delicious additions to your salad bar. Candied and roasted nuts are a very flavorful garnish for any salad. By using old or leftover bread to make homemade croutons you save a lot of money, and freshly baked, the taste is undeniably better than packaged. Parmesan crisps are as easy as opening a bag of shredded parmesan, but a short bake in the oven transforms them into a mouthwatering, crunchy, and rich garnish.
(A) Sugar and Spice Candied Pecans (Nuts/Allergen)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
Generous pinch of cayenne
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pound pecans
1 egg white (room temperature)
1 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, and set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture and toss until evenly coated. Spread nuts in a single layer on a sheet tray with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(B) Cayenne Rosemary Cashews (Nuts/Allergen)
1 pound unroasted unsalted cashews
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped rosemary
½ tsp cayenne
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place nuts on an ungreased sheet tray and bake for 10 minutes until warmed through. While the nuts are roasting combine the butter, cayenne, rosemary, salt, and sugar. While the cashews are still warm toss in spice mixture until coated.
(C) Fresh Herb Garlic Croutons
4 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
1 tsp fresh chopped basil
½ tsp salt plus a little to taste
½ tsp pepper
½ cup olive oil
1 loaf Italian or French bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan combine the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Simmer the garlic for 5 minutes on low heat. Strain the garlic out and discard. In a bowl toss the fresh herbs, bread, and garlic infused oil. Spread them onto an ungreased sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. After removing immediately sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
(D) Parmesan Crisps (For Silpats See Nick)
12 Oz shredded parmesan
2 sheet tray sized silpats
A dash of paprika
Using a tablespoon place cheese in mounds 4 inches apart on silpat covered sheet trays. Flatten out mounds. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 300 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes until golden.
- Preparing Dressings
By preparing dressings from scratch you will save money, but more importantly, you can cut out a lot of preservatives and unhealthy oils. For example:
The body constructs hormones from omega 6 fatty acids. In general, hormones derived from the two classes of essential fatty acids have opposite effects. Those from omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation (an important component of the immune response), blood clotting, and cell proliferation, while those from omega-3 fatty acids decrease those functions. Both families of hormones must be in balance to maintain optimum health.
These are a few oils that are found in almost every vegetable oil, canola oil, and pre-made salad dressing on the market.
Grapeseed Oil and Sesame Oil are both very high in Omega-6
Soybean Oil, Corn Oil, and Palm Kern Oil are all genetically modified, refined, bleached, and strongly deodorized.
Cottonseed Oil has the worst Omega-3 to Omega-6 Ratio of all oils and is found in many premade sauces and dressings.
Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Rice Bran Oil are all high in Monounsaturated fats, which are good. By using these oils, as opposed to pre-made dressings, you will have a much healthier salad bar.
These are very simple, yet delicious recipes that can, and should be prepared on no less than a weekly basis.
(A) Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 cup olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 shallots minced
2 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, minced shallots, minced garlic, Dijon, and honey, and whisk until smooth. While whisking rapidly and nonstop, slowly add the olive oil until smooth.
(B) Basil Pesto
4 cups fresh basil
4 cloves garlic
½ cup pine nuts
1 1/3 cups olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded pecorino or parmesan
Combine the basil, garlic, cheese, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth, salt and pepper to taste.
Also, pestos have endless possibilities, for example: Cilantro pesto, Kale pesto, Sundried tomato pesto, and Red pepper pesto. All of which are very easy to prepare.
(C) Buttermilk Ranch
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of mustard powder
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parley
1 tsp fresh chopped chives
1 tsp fresh chopped dill
In a bowl, stir together the buttermilk and mayonnaise until fully mixed. Add all other ingredients and whisk until smooth.
(D) Caesar Dressing (Fish Warning, For Vegetarian Option Substitute 1 tsp Soy Sauce)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp minced anchovies or anchovy paste
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup shredded Parmesan
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
In a bowl whisk together the garlic, anchovy, lemon juice, Dijon, and Worcestershire. Add the mayonnaise, parmesan, and salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
III. Preparing Alternative Protein Sources
Keeping exciting freshly prepared protein sources on your salad bar can be challenging. However it is very important to always be creative and try new recipes to not just have the same old toppings that every salad bar has. These are a few simple, yet uncommon salad bar toppings that your students will always appreciate.
(A) Spanish Quinoa Salad
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup quinoa
1 yellow onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper finely diced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 ½ cups water
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of ground cumin
Heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat. Stir in the quinoa, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook 5 to 10 minutes until the onion is tender and the quinoa is toasted. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, then the chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Let cool, and fluff with a fork.
(B) Deluxe Bacon Bits
2 pounds thick cut bacon
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bacon strips on a cooling rack on a sheet tray. Combine all spices and mix well. Generously cover the bacon strips with the spice mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes depending on crispiness desired. Let cool and large dice.
(C) Old Bay Baby Shrimp Salad
2 pounds fully cooked baby shrimp
½ cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp old bay seasoning
Pinch of black pepper
In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, old bay seasoning, and black pepper until fully incorporated. Add shrimp, celery, and onion and stir until coated evenly. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Salad Bar Ingredients Ideas
Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Bell Peppers (yellow, green, orange, and red)
Cauliflower (white, green, yellow, and purple)
Corn (fresh, not frozen or canned) (roasted, grilled, boiled, or fresh) (Demo)
Boiled Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
Beets (red, golden, and striped) (roasted not boiled or canned) (Demo)
Red and Green Cabbage
(F) Meat Proteins:
(G) Vegetarian Proteins:
(H) Dried Fruits / Nuts:
Raisins (gold and purple)
(I) Fresh Fruit
Pears (Bartlett, red, and de Anjou)
- Discussion And Tasting