Appetizer · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Simple and In Season

Big Noise

Simple Beet Salad

beets

Summer is most certainly here – hitting over 100 degrees earlier this week before the heat index!  I’m trying to stay as cool as possible in the house, so avoiding the oven as much as possible.  Thankfully the local farmers’ markets are BOOMING with fresh and delicious produce making it super easy to make healthy dinners that don’t require much cook time.  With this simple salad the trick is to slice the beets on the thin side so that they can be cooked in under 7 minutes, nice and crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth delicious in the middle.

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To make it even quicker to get dinner on the table, I prepped them the night before so that they could soak in the oils.   We enjoyed these with a cold pasta salad, which had also been prepped the night before!  I find it so much easier to cook right before bed (and after dessert) and since it’s cooler outside the kitchen doesn’t become a mini-furnace.

Gluten Free · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad

Like to Meet

Wild Rice Salad
Wild Rice Salad

Still on #babywatch here but using that to my advantage to get back to blogging since I’m still feeling pretty good.  I know for most people the second trimester is THE trimester but I’m still saying that the third is the best – even though I’m at the point where I want to meet the little one.   Last weekend my mom and sister came up and we stocked our freezer full of delicious vegetarian treats, some that have been featured here, a few from my SRC blog last week, and some other random ones from the internet.  The random ones I plan to feature here as we make them as I was able to test the changes I made, we just made them!  Some of them I’m not worried about,  such as switching in vegetable stock for chicken or doubling beans/vegetables in place of ground meat, while the ones involving switching chicken for tofu could be a bit more interesting.  Enough about that, time for today’s recipe.

This recipe is about as easy as it gets – and since it can be served hot or cold it can be on the table in under 30 minutes!  Thanks to the warm fall a few of the local markets are still selling cherry and plum tomatoes, so I took advantage and grabbed a pint of some yellow cherries.  From there, dinner created itself!

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I served this naked but to stretch it even further, and to give it a bigger nutritional boost, serve over some massaged kale or baby spinach.  Make sure to add extra oil if there happen to be leftovers, otherwise the rice will dry out and start to clump.   However I doubt there will be any leftovers as this dish is FANTASTIC!  I kept my cold the next day while Joe warmed his up in order to melt the cheese – but there is no right or wrong way to enjoy this dish.

Appetizer · Home Cooking · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Side Dish · Vegan

On the Shore

Waldorf Salad

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Welcome to Part 2 of my #partylikeamadman – again with a huge thanks to my in-laws for allowing me to use their kitchen since ours is still in construction mode!   In going through the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, one of my favorite parts was how each recipe included not only information about the episode the dish was featured in but also facts about the origin of the recipe.  In the case of the Waldorf Salad, the cookbook also included information about the evolution of the salad – as well as two versions of the dish.  I went with the classic dish, adding some grapes for an extra POP of color.     I served this for a large group of people but due to taste preference not all ingredients were increased the same way.  The first recipe is how I served it, while the second one is the original recipe plus grapes.

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I wound up making this dish twice – the first version wound up with a technical problem in that I was the one taking the picture.  The second time around I served this up as part of our Seder dinner and it was the perfect fit (and quite the hit!).   I am so glad I was able to participate in this Mad Men Party,  and look forward to having a finished kitchen so that I can try out some of the more elaborate dishes in the book!

One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Side Dish · TripleSBites · Vegan

My Darling

 Bulgar Wheat Beet Salad

bulgar_wheat_beets

Welcome to my second post for #TripleSBites!  My first post can be found here and it features some spicy Brussels Sprouts

I’ve had so much fun with this challenge – trying to think up dishes that are saucy, spicy, and sexy while still staying within the normal parameters of this blog (cheap, healthy, vegetarian).  Tonight’s dish is certainly healthy, and as long as shopping in the bulk bin section of your grocery store it should be on the cheap side, while the vegetarian goes without saying- this dish can also easily go vegan by swapping the goat cheese for a soft cashew cheese or leaving it out all together.  This salad is actually one of the first dishes I wanted to do, but it has gone through a few versions.  The original concept involved endive boats with roasted beets, bulgur, and goat cheese which then evolved into cucumber boats stuffed with raw beets, bulgur, and goat cheese – both topped with a balsamic dressing.  Yet, something always seemed to be missing.  Then I received another sponsor goody, this time a bottle of Roasted Beet Vinaigrette thanks to Out of the Weeds – and finally had my missing component.

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As a bonus, the dressing turned my dish a fantastic shade of pink – which is rather perfect for the upcoming holiday!  The radicchio offered a tart contrast to the earthy beets while the cucumber provided a needed crunch.  The fact that the dressing turned everything pink (seriously, pink!!!) just added a whole new level of awesome.  Dropping the chickpeas and reducing the portion size would turn this pink treat in to a fantastic side for herb crusted tofu, fish, or chicken.

Note:  I received Out of the Weeds Roasted Beets Dressing as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which started February 2nd.  I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.  

Did I mention there are 19 (!) other awesome bloggers participating in TripleSBites?!?  Make sure to check them all out:

52Weeks · Gluten Free · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Side Dish

We are the

Watermelon Feta Salad

watermelon_feta_salad

Getting back in to the swing of things and also getting back in to the swing of /r/52weeksofcooking.  One of the weeks I missed was a tribute to melons, no other rules or restrictions just all about the melon.  I knew from the start I wanted to do something with watermelon, it’s hard to pass by a stand on the Eastern Shore and not be amazed by the size and number of watermelons they have for sale.  As an added bonus, I inherited half a watermelon a few weekends ago when Joe and I went out to the shore.  After a quick internal debate of gazpacho vs. salad, I decided to go with the salad since there was only half left and I wanted something edible at the end of the adventure. The first time I heard of a watermelon salad, outside of the typical fruit salad, was on Top Chef back when Richard Blais made his first appearance. I then had it for the first time a number of years after, at a friend’s baby shower. Recently I’ve seen it popping up on seasonal menus around the Baltimore area, including a rooftop BBQ hosted by a friend! There are a few different versions with the variation normally in the herb choice. Some use basil, others use mint, and some use both, because why not? I went with basil alone, but as with any recipe there is no one way to make it.

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This salad was fantastic!  I served it alongside my SRC recipe and it provided the perfect light and sweet contrast to the spicetastic dish.   I still had some watermelon left over, even after making another round of salad – and looking forward to sharing that sweet treat sometime next week!!!

Appetizer · Gluten Free · Salad · Secret Recipe Club · Side Dish · Vegan

Two Can Keep

Bean Salad

Bean Salad

Sometimes things work out, and more often then not I have to remind myself of that fact.  Apparently a few months ago I had a special moment and forgot to sign up for August’s Secret Recipe Club reveal – my first miss in two years!!!  Thankfully I was on Facebook at the right time to see a call to adopt an orphan for Group D, so I still get to participate.  The blog I adopted wound up being perfect for me as Dena’s Oh! You Cook! blog is 100% Kosher!!!  That’s right – 100% full of treats not treif 😀  Which meant I could pick any of her dairy, vegan,  or parve recipes and not have to worry about surprise ingredients which was fantastic since I had only a few days to pick and make the recipe.   Since I knew I was hosting another game day over the weekend I decided to look for easy side dishes or dips that would work with out bbq plan.   Which narrowed it down to her Black Bean Salsa, Buffalo Nachos,  Israeli Beet Dip, and Bean Salad.   I really wanted to do her beet dip but struck out at the farmer’s market, and again when I suggested the dip on the meetup page – apparently gamers don’t like beets?!?!  So I decided to whip up her bean salad, knowing it would be the perfect gluten-free and vegan side dish for our eclectic group of gamers.   Some quick changes: used two cans of chickpeas (thought I bought kidney but apparently didn’t) and argula for cilantro since a few of our friends can’t stand the stuff.

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Sure enough this salad was a hit!  Some people used it as a really thick dip, others topped their burgers with it, while a few of us dived in with spoons.  So while gamers don’t like beets – they most certainly LOVE beans!!!!

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Gluten Free · Salad · Side Dish · Vegan

Think to Myself

Vegan Coleslaw

Coleslaw

It can be a little rough be a vegetarian during cook-out season – more often than not the sides aren’t even veggie friendly!  Since I’ve been hosting a large number of gatherings at my house this year (wahOo owning an indoor grills!) I’ve made it my mission to create and serve sides that work for vegans and meat eaters alike!  This coleslaw is kid, gamer, vegan, and celiac approved so it probably doesn’t get much better.  In order to replicate the texture and consistency of mayo, without going fully over to the soy side, I used a mixture of vegenaise and almond milk based greek yogurt.

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I’ve been switching back between green and red cabbage all summer, and in the end I think I prefer a combination.  The red cabbage adds just a bit of tang while the green cabbage is sweeter, at least when it goes to the local options.   The coleslaw also tastes great the next day, just be sure to keep it well covered!  I’m also sending this over to /52weeks of cooking for there America challenge as nothing says summer in the US so much as having friends over for a bbq – complete with some delicious coleslaw!