Simple Beet Salad
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.
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.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
I’m not a fan of fall weather, even more so when it comes to the season after fall, but I am a fan of many of the vegetables that pop up during these chilly months. From the winter squashes, to the greens, to the delicious root vegetables – the fall is well stocked with delicious vegetables. Today’s treat features a number of those goodies, including some of the last of the produce from the Farmer’s Market at my office. Butternut Squash is a familiar vegetable in our house and it really seems to go with everything. In this case I added some swiss chard, baby kale, and some mashed pie pumpkin (thought the variety was called baby boy but that just resulted in lots of baby costumes) that was leftover from making the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
Lasagna will never be a healthy dinner option, and it’s not always the most budget-friendly option, but it will always be something delicious and hearty and fantastic. I figured that if I only make it a few times a year it’s not that bad…right??? I’m sending this recipe over to November’s Secret and in Season, which is being hosted by Katie of FeedingBoys and was founded by the awesome Ren. There are so many delicious fall recipes being linked up over there, I can’t wait to give them a whirl!!!
Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit
When I saw the challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking was Native American – I was a bit nervous but not for any of the normal reasons. Recently there has been some uproar on blogger “feedback” sites about the insensitivity of bloggers as it relates to other cultures/religions/practices with a focus on cultural approbation. While I would hope that posting a recipe would not be considered cultural stealing, I still paused to weigh if it would be worth being a potential target on one of those more venomous sites, especially after “yelpgate” a few weeks ago. In the end I decided that sharing recipes should always be allowed, regardless of where (or where not) a person is from. After all, everyone has to eat!
In the end, it’s a balancing act – and I can only hope that this post strikes the right note as I would really like to avoid getting messages (again) about how I need to be hit by a truck. I enjoyed this dish as is, while my cheese loving spouse adding some Parmesan Cheese to his. I think in the future I’ll go full stew, instead of debating back and forth while making the dish.
I’m also sending this over to Simple and in Season, hosted by the always fabulous Ren Behan since Acorn Squash is in its prime right now – and there is something very fall-like when it comes to dried fruit treats.
Summer Pasta Salad
I’m a firm believer in go-to-recipes – ones that always turn out perfect and can be varied to fit the event. Pasta salad has the advantage of being not only an easy recipe but one of those recipes that can also unite vegans and meat-eaters. Growing up my mom had her go-to variation and my first few pasta salads were basically her recipe – but over time I decided to branch out and have established my own “standard”. While a few of the characters might change based on what’s growing in the garden, I keep the same dressing and rarely ever switch out the beans!
I generally enjoy this pasta salad with bbq tofu but with the addition of the beans it works just fine as a cold dinner – and generally it is eaten solo for lunch the next day. It can also be made in advance, just be sure to add a tbsp of EVOO to the bowl and then toss well in order to insure it doesn’t dry out. I’m sending this over to July’s Simple and in Season since everything about this recipe screams summertime! This month Sally at MyCustardPie is hosting this awesome round up as our normal hostess is quite occupied with a new baby boy!
In gardening news I’ve now harvested almost a dozen cherry tomatoes, with more popping up every day! I’ve also collected two jalapenos, what is most likely the last of my argula (which was used in this recipe!), and I’m still waiting on my first eggplants. There’s a chance I’ll need to pull my veggies inside later this week, something about a July Polar Vortex – which is another advantage of having a pot garden!
Corn Bisque with Avocado
Good morning (evening???) and welcome to June’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club!!! I have to say being a member of Group A means that my blogging month always starts off with a bang in the flavor department – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This month I was partnered up with the Cookaholic Wife, and after reading her about page it turns out we have a lot in common. We were both married in 2010, we’re both on the verge of turning 30 (eeek!), and we both live in Baltimore 😀 For an added chill, you can switch our anniversary and birth months since we’re virgos that got married in April – so needless to say I think Nicole is rather awesome. Her blog is also stuffed to the rim with delicious recipes featuring ingredients that are easy to locate – but since we’re in the same city that does make a bit of sense. I first debated making her Onion Dip, as a tribute to the crap dip that got her started on the blogging path, but I could not get the idea of her Corn Bisque out of my head. Corn chowders are one of my favorite winter soups and the idea of a light and springy corn soup just spoke to my belly on a deep level. I did make a few in changes to the recipe to cut back on cholesterol (yes, sometimes I do listen to my doctor) but for a more authentic experience just switch the almond milk back to regular milk! Using the yogurt in place of the half-and-half also allowed me to leave out the cornstarch as the soup was plenty thick!
I did leave the crab out but I’m happy to report that my hubby added enough Old Bay to his to counter the lack of crab. The avocado provided the perfect contrast to the airy soup, and I’m now curious to see how I can include that in my winter chowder.
This soup was perfection and I can easily see myself making it time and time again – thanks Nicole!!!
I am loving my new kitchen – it’s so beyond amazing to have a kitchen with more than 2 square feet of counter space. Today’s dish is definitely one of those that requires a fair bit of space, and probably why I made them all of once in our old place. Now however I have the space so that I can really do fajitas right! When it comes to picking the vegetables for this dish I let the market do the picking for me.
I’m sending this recipe over to two link-ups: the always awesome Simple and In Season and /52weeksofcooking for their caramelization challenge. While the vegetables might vary the peppers and onion will always be there and they really benefit from the layered cooking time.
I also started my new job this past Monday and so far it’s fantastic. I’m literally working for my dream company, and my mom has the written evidence to support this from when I was in grade school. While plenty of kids want to grow up to work in medicine I was very specific in where I wanted to work – and as of this past Monday I’m there! One of the extra perks – we have our own Farmer’s Market on campus every week 🙂 Plus I can volunteer to work there and save 10% on all products – needless to say for a vegetarian that is about as good as it gets!
I’m a huge fan of spring – warm weather, colorful flowers, and all sorts of delicious vegetables popping up to be enjoyed. Last weekend we were fortunate enough to get a huge bag of asparagus, and I went straight to work figuring out how best to use them. There are so many amazing recipes out there from soups to tarts to dips – the possibilities are endless! In the end I decided to take inspiration from our amazing honeymoon, seeing as how it was almost 2 years to the day it just seemed fitting. Our meal at Steirereck still ranks as one of the best, if not THE best, meal of my life and part of that fantastic meal was a bowl of Spargelsuppe or Asparagus Soup. While theirs included tuna tartar, I kept things simple and basic – and vegan!