One of my favorite getaway places in the world (second only to Jamaica) is the “The Spring” resort in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The resort is nestled in the Rocky Mountains, just a hop skip and jump away from Wolfe Creek Ski resort. “The Springs” is a private resort with 5 star accommodations surrounding over 15 private hot springs with temperatures from 90 to 117 degrees. They even have private hot spring at the resort for adults only…There is no place like it in the United States. Check it out at PagosaHotSprings.com.
It was in one of these hot springs that I was recently enjoying a private moment when a group of ladies jumped into the spa with me. My state of mind at the time was very Indica-ish, if you know what I mean. One of the ladies asked me if I was the guy on CNBC from Simply Pure. As soon as I told them indeed I was, the questions about food and pot were endless. Finally, after about 30 minutes, I had to promise that I would include several salad dressings and salads in my next Kush column. Since the ladies were in a Sativa-ish state of mind, I had no choice but to give in!
So this month I am going to offer my readers three salads and salad dressings. Salads are like fine art work - the bowl is your canvas, the colorful vegetables your brush. Be adventurist - add some beans, nuts, fruit, raisins, cheese, herbs, grains, meat, poultry and, yes, fresh pot leaves. These little tricks instantly make a boring salad great.
Salads are very versatile, and can please the meat eater or the vegetarian and are easy to travel with. Another benefits to salads are they are very seasonal, giving you many choices. I would suggest selecting a different variety of lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes each time you visit the store. You will be surprised at the different flavors and textures each one offers. The recipes I offer requires infused coconut, olive, or canola oil. The choice is yours, but keep in mind that each oil has its own flavor that may change the dressing slightly. Don't be afraid to experiment and, most importantly, enjoy!
Roasted Eggplant, Pepper, Garlic, Sweat Potato Salad w/ Mozzarella
• 1 large egg plant thinly sliced
• 2 red / 1 yellow bell peppers seeded and thinly sliced
• 3 large garlic cloves roasted
• 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium size cubes
• 3tbs regular olive oil
• Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
• 1tsp butter (optional)
• 1tsp Marjoram herb
• 2tsp sweet aged balsamic vinegar
• 4tsp infused olive or coconut oil
• 1 tsp. crushed garlic
• 1 large shallot finely chopped
• 3tsp chopped herbs, basil tarragon, chervil
Lettuce: Mixed greens 12oz
Mozzarella Cheese: 8oz thinly sliced or shredded
1. Broil sliced red peppers & eggplant for 10 -12 minutes on high rotating veggie, let cool
2. In a roasting pan place the sweet potatoes and season with regular olive oil, salt 7 pepper and roasted garlic. Make sure potatoes are evenly covered and bake in oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until they are soft and slightly charred, let cool.
3. In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the dressing together and whisk for 1 minute. Add herbs, shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and mix.
4. To serve place the lettuce in the center of a chilled plate lay the sweet potatoes peppers in middle of the lettuce and surround with eggplant and cheese. Drizzle the dressing and enjoy.
Curry -Pear, Green Apple, Walnut Salad w/ Crispy Bacon
• 1 medium green apple cored &thinly sliced
• 2 red Bartlett pears cored & thinly sliced
• ½ cup chopped walnuts
• 4 slices of thick cooked smoked bacon, maple flavor optional!
• 1 cup water chestnuts, stocked removed
• ¼ cup sprouts
• ½ lemon fresh hand squeezed juice
• 1tsp curry powder
• 4tsp infused coconut or olive oil
• ½ lemon –fresh hand squeezed juice
• 1/8 cup honey
• Pinch salt & pepper
1. In a bowl toss the apple and pears with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. In a second bowl mix all the ingredients including all bacon crumbled, apples and pears, 1tsp of infused oil and toss together let chill for 30 minutes. Save the sprouts for last as a topping.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk for 2 minutes or until mixture is consistent.
3. Toss salad and serve in a chilled bowl topped with sprouts then drizzle the dressing over salad and enjoy. You may also add grilled chicken as well. Enjoy
Traditional Caesar Salad
Ingredients & dressing
• 2/3 infused olive oil
• 2 tbl spoons minced garlic
• 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
• Salt & pepper
• 1 large egg cooked for 1 minute in boiling water
• 1 head romaine or Boston lettuce
• ¾ cup shaved parmesan cheese
• 6 anchovy fillet optional
• 2 piece thick bread –Texas style
1. Mixed 1/3 of olive oil and 1 table spoon garlic together and spread on bread evenly. Place bread in broiler or toaster over until golden brown do not overcook. Remove and cut into small cubes and set aside.
2. In a bowl mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, crack the egg and add to mixture and whisk until smooth blend. In a chilled bowl place the lettuce on the bottom and cover with bread cubes and shaved cheese. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy! Now is the time to add those anchovies…