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Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

Hi my friends! ¬†It’s been a long time. Almost a year since my last post. But I’m feeling reinvigorated to start blogging again! Somewhere between moving to the west coast, starting a new job, and having a husband traveling non-stop, I stopped cooking fun, inventive meals. It’s just not as much fun to cook for one! I’ve had many nights of going to yoga class and coming home to eat cereal/ salads for dinner since they don’t require any pots and pans ūüôā¬† But I miss cooking those wonderfully delicious and healthy meals.
Now that I’m back, I’m going to approach this whole blogging thing a little differently. As opposed to always coming up with my own unique recipes, I want to write about some of the best recipes, tools and culinary lessons that inspire me in the kitchen. This week’s inspiration: Kale!
Not only is Kale one of the most nutritious vegetables (read more here about the health benefits), but when prepared right, it’s almost addicting. Really! Tip: remove the stems – always!¬† ¬†Hopefully that’s not where all the good vitamins are, but I find them tough and a little bitter.¬†¬† Here are 3 of my favorite Kale recipes.

Orecchiette with Kale

I found this recipe in cooking light and it looked so good, I had to give it a try.¬†¬†When I made this recipe, it was the first¬†time I ever bought kale. ¬†I skipped on the bacon and used cherry tomatoes instead of sun dried.¬† Both ways I’m sure are delicious.

Orecchiette with Kale, Bacon, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Kale Chips:

These actually taste like¬†potato¬†chips.¬† And are definitely addicting.¬† If you’re serving them at a party,¬†buy an extra head of kale – they¬†will get eaten.¬†¬† Have fun with the spices and come up with some unique flavors.¬† Just be careful not to cook too long – they can get a burnt taste.

Picture of Smoky Kale Chips Recipe

Kale Salad

The dressing on this reminds me of a caesar¬†salad – expect it’s better for you!¬† I even like to add a little Dijon mustard to give it a thicker consistency.¬†Since I discovered this recipe about 3 weeks ago, I’ve been making it at least twice a week.¬†¬† And it’s from one of my favorite blogs – 101 cookbooks.¬†¬† Love it!

Raw Kale Salad Recipe

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Guess what?!¬†¬†We’ve relocated to Southern California, which explains the lack of posts the past two months.¬† We’re finally getting settled here – it took us awhile to find a place we liked and could afford ūüôā¬† I¬†got a job offer with Oakley (yes, the sunglass company) and Joe and I decided to take the plunge and¬†move.¬† So far we love it here!¬† I did miss the fall in Connecticut, but not enough to go through another winter.¬†¬†¬† We moved to Corona del Mar and are about a block from the beach¬†– doesn’t get any better.¬† One of my favorite parts about living here is I can walk to a really great farmers market EVERY Saturday ALL year long.¬† How awesome is that?!¬† And the produce at the grocery stores here is way better than anywhere else I’ve lived.

So, Joe’s traveling again – he’s in China for a month.¬† When he’s gone I usually don’t cook big meals.¬† It’s not as much fun to cook for one!¬† I have very little in my fridge right now, and really wasn’t expecting this meal to be very good – I’m not sure I’ve ever made stuffed portabella mushrooms before.¬† Lucky me, I didn’t have to revert to cereal because this meal was awesome.¬† I’ll probably make it again tomorrow for dinner.¬† If you’re ever having lunch for your girlfriends – this would be a perfect choice.¬† Hearty, but not too filling.

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Ingredients:

Baby portabella mushrooms (as many as you’d like; 2-3 pp)

Mixed Romaine

Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Reduced fat feta cheese

Chopped sundried tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil (for dressing and cooking)

White Balsamic Vinegar

Dijon Mustard

Salt/ Pepper to taste

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1)  Make the dressing.  Combine a squeeze of dijon, white balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt pepper.  Whisk together then mix in olive oil.  I was making this for one, but usually when I make salad dressing I use a 1/3, 2/3 ratio of vinegar to oil.

2)  Clean the mushrooms. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh.

3)¬† Combine mozzarella, feta, and sundried tomatoes (herbs would be great addition, but didn’t have any on hand).¬† Drizzle a little of the dressing in each mushroom then fill with the cheese mixture.¬† Reserve the rest of the dressing to toss with the mixed romaine.

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4)  Preheat broiler to Hi.  Heat olive oil in skillet and add mushrooms to hot pan.  Sautee for 2 minutes.  Add to oven for 3-5 minutes until cheese starts to melt.

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5)  To serve, you can either pre-slice the mushrooms or keep the whole.  For presentation purposes, it looks better to keep them whole!

I love the size of the baby portabella mushrooms, and personally I like the texture better than the regular kind.  Hope you like them as much as I did!  ENJOY!

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Watermelon Salad

I’ve been making this salad for years and really can’t get enough of it during the summer!¬† I think I found it in a Coastal Living magazine, but now you see versions of this everywhere.¬† This one really is the best though –¬†the watermelon is so refreshing and the light lemon vinaigrette is the perfect pairing.¬† All you need¬†is a nice glass of white wine and you can make this a meal!¬†

Ingredients:

Chopped Watermelon

1 bunch parsley roughly chopped Рabout 2 to 3 Tbs.

1 Tbs mint, chopped – (optional, I usually hold on the mint, but some people love it)

2-3 cups arugula or mixed green lettuce

1 handful walnuts or pine nuts toasted

1 red onion sliced in half moons

Feta cheese

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Lemon Juice

Salt to taste

Directions:

1)  To make vinaigrette, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and salt until emulsified. 

2)  Layer the remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl and drizzle the dressing on top.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Looking for something light and refreshing?¬† Then this is your perfect salad!¬†¬†¬†It’s not something I would typically make during the winter – but the fruits just looked so good at the grocery store.¬† The flavors of the fennel, citrus, and walnuts all come together – the tartness of the citrus really balances out the licorice taste of the fennel.¬† And walnuts add the perfect crunch.¬† Pair this with grilled chicken or seafood or serve on¬†it’s own – it would be a really great and healthy meal for lunch too.

Ingredients:

1 Orange

1 Red Grapefruit

1 Blood Orange

1/2 lemon for juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Sliced fennel

1/4 cup sliced walnuts

1/2 Tbs. butter

Spoonful of sugar

Arugula or Mixed Greens

Directions:

1)  Segment the oranges and grapefruit and place in bowl.  To do this, cut in between the membranes (white parts).  Reserve the remaining fruit and squeeze juice into separate bowl along with lemon juice.  Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

2)  Thinly slice fennel and add to bowl with fruit.

3)  To prepare candied walnuts, melt butter and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat.  Add walnuts, coat with butter, and toast for 2-3 minutes.

4) Place fruit/ fennel on top salad and then spoon juices over salad.  Finish with toasted walnuts.

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