Monday, January 09, 2012
Keeping it light to start the new year
Rachael Ray 30-Minute Get Real Meals Copyright 2005
1/4 lb cooked deli ham , sliced 1/4 inch thick and finely diced
1 celery rib , finely chopped
2 tablespoons pimento-stuffed green olives , drained and finely chopped
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley , chopped I omitted this
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (just enough to bind the salad)
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 large dill pickles , finely chopped
1/4 small red onion , finely chopped I used sweet onion
1 English cucumber (seedless)
fresh ground pepper
In a bowl combine the ham, celery, olives, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle, red onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
Cut the cucumber into 1 1/2 inch-thick disks. With a melon baller scoop out a little bit of the center of each cucumber disk to create a cup.
Fill each cup with a heaping tablespoon of the ham salad. Serve cold.
I picked up this cookbook because I spied a couple of ground chicken recipes in it (Rachael Ray is always good for ground chicken recipes). It wasn't until I got it home that I noticed it had a low-carb slant which is perfect since I am trying to watch my carbs. However, these recipes aren't necessarily healthy. I am not doing a meat, bacon and cream type of low-carb thing. This book isn't that far out there but many recipes in this book are still quite caloric and fat-filled. This particular recipe fit my personal eating plan but many of them don't. One Cobb salad recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat, 4 chicken breasts, an avocado and 5 strips of bacon (among other ingredients) and it's only supposed to serve 4 people! Her burgers are still 1/2 pound burgers as usual (I always halve her burger recipes and still make 4 burgers).
My usual basic ham salad is ham, mayo and relish whirled in a mini-chopper. I remember making it in a blender when I was very young. I had tried the deli version and I don't know how I ended up making it myself (I didn't read it on the internet LOL). It was one of my first realizations that you could actually make the same food at home that you bought in a store - duh!
This was a much more flavorful version. I went very light on the mayo - there is so much flavor from the rest of the ingredients, you really just need a touch. I lightened up on the mustard too so it wouldn't overpower the salad. I'll definitely make it like this again. More important than the recipe here was the idea of using cucumbers instead of crackers, a simple trick I'll be sure to remember. The cucumber is bland but the salad has enough flavor to balance it out. Hollowing out the cucumber slices is a simple thing to do but kind of tedious and wasteful though so after these initial snackers, I switched to just spreading the ham salad on cucumber slices.
Let's hope I can at least get through January keeping things light!