peanut cabbage slaw with herbs + chicken.

Last post, we made chicken with braised cabbage. As cabbage heads are normally HUGE, there is typically always some leftover. With that leftover cabbage, and two of the chicken breasts AND the onions (that I quick pickled!), we have this recipe, which is perfect for lunches! A cabbage slaw tossed in a quick peanut dressing, highlighted with some herbs, and topped with that leftover chicken. So easy and so delicious!

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The dressing uses some of the vinegary pickling liquid, but if you choose to not pickle the red onion, use unseasoned rice vinegar. Here is a great tutorial on pickling red onions – they keep for weeks, and are a great way add a pop of tart flavor to your dishes! The base of this slaw is cabbage and red bell pepper, but I added some sliced cucumber, as I was positively swimming in it! Feel free to add any veggies you have on hand — carrots would be a lovely addition!

If packing for lunches, mix the dressing, add to the bottom of a jar/container, layer with the chicken and then the cabbage slaw. Enjoy!

cabbage slaw with herbs + chicken.
from Buzzfeed Food.

ingredients
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon liquid from pickled onions or rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pickled red onions
1/2 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
8 ounces cooked chicken breasts, sliced

directions
In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, fish sauce, pickling liquid/fish sauce and olive oil until smooth and well combined. Add cabbage, bell pepper, pickled onions and toss with the dressing until the slaw is well coated.

Divide between two plates and top with chicken. Serves 2.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

 

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white wine + shallot vinaigrette.

This dressing. I want it on everything. I think it may be my favorite homemade dressing to date. It is SO. GOOD.

I’ve been eating this so simply — spooned over sliced half moons of cucumber; cucumber that I had left over from last week’s pasta salad. I enjoyed that combination so much, I actually went out and bought more cucumbers just for the dressing! YUM.

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This is absurdly simple to make – especially if you have a blender! I tend to mix up my dressings in the blender — usually due to laziness. I don’t have to worry about a perfect mince of the garlic and shallot, and the mustard and honey emulsify beautifully with the whizz of the blender; yielding a thick, almost creamy dressing. If you don’t have a blender or don’t want to dirty it, never fear! Simply toss all the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined.

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This is tangy, light, yet super flavorful. It is Italian dressing-esque, but a more delicate flavor, thanks to the white wine vinegar. Feel free to use champagne vinegar in place of the white wine, and red wine in place of the apple cider if that’s what you have on hand. I recommend using a neutral oil; olive will overpower the other flavors. You can also use dijon in place of the whole grain mustard, but I love the bite of the whole grain. Enjoy this tossed with fresh, crisp romaine, in a pasta salad, or, over chopped cucumbers like me!

white wine + shallot vinaigrette.

ingredients
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons raw honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
scant 1 cup neutral oil such as grapeseed or avocado

directions
In a blender, add all ingredients except the oil. Turn the blender on medium-low, and stream in the oil, increasing the blender speed for 30-45 seconds, allowing the dressing to come together.

Makes about one cup. Keeps for 2 weeks refrigerated.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

roasted sweet potato salad.

People feel really seriously about potato salad. Mayo, or no mayo? (<– NO. Never. Yuck.). Eggs? Chopped pickles? Celery? It can be made a plethora of ways, but for me, the idea of potato salad is almost always better than the reality. I too often find them bland and unappealingly gloppy. Aside from the warm, vinegary German potato salad I grew up on and LOVE, I always tend to be disappointed. HOWEVER. I stumbled upon the idea of a sweet potato salad and was immediately intrigued. You guys. I have your new summer staple picnic salad!

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Yes. This salad combines roasted sweet potatoes with crunch red bell peppers, scallions, roasted frozen(!) corn, dressed in a bright yet lightly sweet honey dijon lime dressing (<– use agave for a vegan dish)! The original recipe I used for inspiration included black beans and cilantro, but I decided to keep it simple and omitted the cilantro simply because it didn’t look good at my grocery store the day I was there. I would also probably skip the cilantro for parties, as many people have a vehement dislike for it. There is so much going on here, you won’t miss it. Promise. 🙂

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As a bonus, this is better the longer it sits as the flavors will be allowed to mingle and marry. Letting it rest for 30 minutes is necessary, but you could make this a day ahead – so convenient for busy schedules! I served this with chicken enchilada meatballs and tortillas, but this would be amazing inside the tortillas for vegan tacos or enchiladas! Enjoy this new warm weather favorite.

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roasted sweet potato salad.
adapted from Averie Cooks.

ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.25 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon each)
1 cup frozen roasted corn (thawed)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
3-4 scallions (green parts), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey (agave if vegan)
1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
pinch of cayenne (optional)

directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. On a baking sheet lined with foil and nonstick cooking spray, add the sweet potato. Roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, tossing about halfway through, to ensure even browning. Check potatoes for doneness around the 30 minute mark; they are done when they can be pierced easily with a fork but are not falling apart.

While the potatoes are cooking, slice the red peppers and scallions and add them to a large bowl along with the thawed corn. In a small bowl, whisk together the tablespoon of olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, lime, salt, pepper and cayenne until emulsified.

Once the potatoes are done cooking and at room temperature or slightly warm, add to the bowl with the vegetables, pour the dressing over top and toss gently to combine.

Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Keeps well for up to 5 days. Serves 4 as a side.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

roasted salmon salad with honey-dijon vinaigrette.

I just showed you how to meal prep salmon, so let’s turn those portions of delicious fish into a delicious workday meal!

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This salad is so simple – just toss some chopped romaine, baby kale, carrots, cucumbers and sliced almonds with an easy honey-dijon vinaigrette and top with the salmon (warmed or not!). As you can see, I used a whole filet to top my salad; that I had warmed slowly in a pan on the stovetop. For work lunches, I recommend flaking some cold salmon atop your salad (store separately from the greens until just ready to eat).

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Not only is this great for meal prepping, it’s also a great ‘clean out’ recipe! Toss whatever vegetables you have into the salad bowl, top with a sprinkling of almonds or walnuts, or even some leftover fresh herbs. Possibilities are endless.

roasted salmon salad with honey dijon vinaigrette.

ingredients
2 salmon filets, cooked
1 romaine heart, chopped
4 cups baby kale
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup mixed vegetables such as cucumber, bell pepper, celery, etc. (optional)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
sea salt and pepper
dressing:
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
dash of sea salt and pepper

directions
In a blender or small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients and then whisk in the olive oil until well combined and smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

If serving immediately, toss together all salad ingredients except for the salmon. Divide amongst two plates and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing (you will have dressing left over). Top with salmon filet each and serve.

To prep: toss together the salad ingredients except the salmon and dressing. In containers, add the salad greens/vegetables. Store salmon separately in an air tight container; same with dressing.

Makes 2 entree-sized salads. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

quinoa salad with burst cherry tomatoes + herbs.

This recipe comes from me being inspired by my newest favorite cookbook, Plenty. It is the perfect book to get inspiration from this time of year, when summer produce is so plentiful — no pun intended!

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The original incarnation of this dish had you leave the tomatoes raw and bulk out the salad with grilled sourdough bread – YUM. I will totally be making it the way it was written, but I’ve been overdoing it a little on carbs recently, so I decided to leave out the bread and just make this with the quinoa and vegetables. Still very delicious, filling, and packed full of vitamins and protein. Hooray!

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You can definitely leave the tomatoes raw if you’d like — I just prefer cherry tomatoes roasted or thrown into a very hot pan for a minute or two; they begin to just burst, and they get even sweeter. I also think the juxtaposition of them against the cold, raw cucumber is just lovely. The salad is coated simply with some red wine vinegar and a touch of olive oil, but I think the real star here are the fresh herbs. We are using both fresh mint, which I love in savory salads, and cilantro, which has that herbal bite that cannot be replicated with any other herb. I know cilantro is controversial, so feel free to sub in parsley for all the cilantro haters. If you want a decidedly Italian spin, use fresh basil.

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Like most grain or seed-based salads, this gets even better as it sits, making it great for picnics, parties, or lunches during the week. Enjoy!

quinoa salad with burst cherry tomatoes + herbs.
inspired by the grilled sourdough + quinoa salad from Plenty. 

ingredients
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup/8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 english cucumber, peeled, seed scooped out, and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1.5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

directions
Cook the quinoa according to package directions (1 cup quinoa/2 cups water). Once cooked, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and add to a large mixing bowl.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (stainless or cast iron is ideal) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering but not smoking, add the halved cherry tomatoes along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes just begin to burst. Remove from the pan and set them aside.

Once the quinoa is at room temperature in the bowl, add the sliced red onion, diced bell pepper and cucumber, and burst tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Add the mint, cilantro, red wine vinegar, remaining tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and pepper. Toss together. Taste, adding more salt or pepper if desired. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Serves 4 as a main, 6-8 as a starter/side. Keeps well in fridge for 3-4 days.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

cucumber, tomato + pineapple salad with chili lime dressing.

I love the flexibility of salads. Vegetables, fruit, grain, rice… the possibilities are endless and you can really let your creativity run wild. Today I have a light, bright and utterly refreshing option that will cool you down on even the hottest of summer days.

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Pineapple and cucumber make a beautiful pair, as evidenced in this agua fresca. We are adding in fresh mint and cilantro, which gently perfume the salad, and accent the slight citrusy heat of the dressing. This is an absolute cinch to put together, making it great for last minute entertaining. You can also make this ahead of time, but do not dress until ready to serve, as the garlic and lime can muddy the flavors of the fruit (yes! All three main ingredients are technically fruits!) and alter the texture.

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This was a hit at my dinner party the other evening, and I know you’ll love it, too!

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cucumber, tomato, + pineapple salad with chili-lime dressing.
adapted from epicurious.com 

ingredients
1/2 English seedless cucumber, sliced lengthwise and seeds scooped out
2 cups pineapple, quartered, sliced again lengthwise, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 roma tomato, seeds scooped out, sliced into strips, and diced
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint

dressing
2.5 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 tablespoons jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

directions
Dressing: mince the garlic clove and then add the salt to the minced garlic. Smash back and forth with the flat side of a heavy chefs knife, mixing together to create a garlic paste (will not be smooth). Work with for a few minutes until the salt and garlic begin to combine. Add this to a small mason jar, and add the jalapeño, starting with one tablespoon (work your way up according to your heat preferences), sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and oil. Seal jar and shake vigorously to combine. Alternatively, add all to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. Refrigerate if making ahead of time.

Add cucumber, tomato, pineapple, cilantro and mint to a large bowl and pour dressing over (start with half and work up if you like a wetter salad). Stir gently, transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Serves 2-3 as a starter/salad.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

light chinese chicken salad with sesame ginger vinaigrette.

It seems ubiquitous that my 100th post(!) is a salad. I suppose it would be completely appropriate if my salad was lemon-themed, but let’s face it, I am just not that organized, and lemons were not in my meal plan this week, aside from my daily warm lemon water routine (<– SO good for you!).

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However, today’s recipe is a salad of Asian inspiration, which is fitting, seeing as Asian flavors are ones that I never, ever tire of. Do you have flavors/cuisines like that? Even with the copious and frankly embarrassing amounts of ginger I consume on a weekly basis, I can never get enough. So I bring you a light and healthy Chinese chicken salad. I don’t think this recipe is authentically Chinese in any realm, but these salads have enjoyed massive popularity for years. Sadly, most restaurant versions are positively laden with sodium and fat, and before you know it, your “healthy” meal has turned into a calorie bomb. No thank you.

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Here, we are grilling our lean chicken breasts (you can use boneless, skinless thigh meat if that’s what you prefer), throwing tons of delicious veggies into our salad, and topping off with a delicious dressing that is rich, thanks to the sesame oil, but not cloying at all. Sliced, roasted almonds provide the crunch factor, and provide us with healthy fats which keep us fuller, longer. This is one recipe I can make over and over again, and never tire of. I hope it’ll do the same for you!

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light + healthy chinese chicken salad.
inspired by many of the Chinese chicken salads I’ve had over the years. 

1 heart of romaine, chopped
2 cups savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup roasted, sliced almonds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
sea salt and black pepper

dressing:
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari, or gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sriracha or chile-garlic sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
1 tablespoon diced fresh ginger

directions
To make the dressing: combine all ingredients except oil into a blender. With the blender on medium, stream in the tablespoon of oil to emulsify. Pour into a container and set aside.

To cook chicken: Turn the grill, grill pan or heavy cast iron skillet onto/over medium-high. Season chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. If using a grill pan or skillet, add in one teaspoon of grapeseed oil to the pan to heat. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and the juices run clear. Remove to a platter, and cut into thin slices.

To assemble salad: In a large mixing bowl add cabbage, lettuce, carrots, red bell pepper, cilantro, almonds and sesame seeds. Add half the dressing, and lightly toss. Top with chicken and additional dressing if desired.

Serves 2 as a main dish salads.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

roasted pear + pomegranate salad.

Hi there! Are your Thanksgiving plans and preparation in full swing? Whether you are hosting, cooking, or tasked with bringing a dish, I have something for you today that definitely deserves a spot on your holiday table. This salad is rich yet healthy, and it’s remarkably simple to make!

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Now, I can probably guess what you’re thinking: a salad… really? It’s Thanksgiving! Turkey, potatoes, stuffing… it’s a meat and potato lovers dream meal! That may be true, but I love vegetables, so I’m always very excited when I’m asked to bring something vegetal and green to the table. This is bright and punchy, which is a refreshing contrast to all the heavy dishes. The roasted pears help add richness and make this salad feel holiday special.

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Arugula is spicy, and is complemented nicely by the bright pomegranates and my favorite lemon dressing. I used a raw sheep’s milk cheese, but crumbled goat cheese would be lovely in this salad. This will be on my holiday table, and I hope it’ll make on yours, too!

roasted pear + pomegranate salad.
adapted from Wegmans Menu Magazine, Fall 2016.

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ingredients
5 ounces (weight) baby arugula
2 large red pears, cored and quartered
2 ounces pomegranate seeds
2 ounces toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper

lemon dressing 
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
few dashes of white wine vinegar (about a 1/2 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon wildflower honey
scant 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 small shallot, chopped
salt and pepper
dash dried thyme
* you will have leftover dressing; will keep up to 10 days

directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss pear quarters with tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper (1/4 teaspoon each, give or take). Toss well and spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning once halfway through. Once lightly caramelized and tender but not soft, remove from oven and let cool completely.

While pears are cooking, add all the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil into the blender. While the blender is on, slowly stream in the oil to emulsify.

In a large bowl, combine the pomegranate seeds, walnuts, cheese and arugula. Add 1/4-1/3 of the dressing and toss gently to combine. Plate onto a serving platter and top with roasted pears. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6. Easily doubled or tripled.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

beef noodle bowls with sesame ginger dressing.

I’ve been trying to get more iron into my diet. I recently had some blood work, and it was revealed that I’m pretty deficient in my iron stores. I’ll soon be starting on some iron supplements, but I truly believe that the best way to get essential vitamins and minerals is through food. Since beef is one of the most well-known sources of iron, I figured it was the perfect starting point. I had a beautiful, lean top round steak in my freezer, and one Friday evening I decided to grill it up. It was nearly 1.25 pounds, so I had a lot leftover. Regular leftover steak sounded boring, so I made the leftover meat a focal point into a brand new, remade dish: asian beef noodle bowls.
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What a hit. Delicious cold, room temperature or hot, this is the ideal lunchtime food. I ate it cold on day one, and heated up the next day at work and both were equally delicious. You can bulk out the noodles with extra vegetables, and a delicious, luscious sesame ginger dressing. The dressing is thin, but coats the noodles, vegetables, and meat in the more delicate way. Give this a garnish with some sesame seeds and additional scallions, and you have a takeout-worthy dish that will simultaneously help you repurpose leftovers and clean out your vegetable crisper. Win-win!

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beef noodle bowls.
dressing adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

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ingredients
6-8 ounces leftover steak, thinly sliced (top sirloin, hanger, skirt, flank)*
4 ounces brown rice noodles or whole wheat thin spaghetti
1/2 cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil

salad dressing:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (or 1/4 cup tamari)
1.5 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon avocado oil (can use olive or grapeseed)
1.5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar OR coconut palm sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced

directions
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Meanwhile, take the leftover steak out of the fridge to pull the chill off of it.

Make the dressing: Combine the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Once the oil is heated, add the mushrooms, carrots and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until just slightly tender. Remove vegetables and add to the noodles. Add the scallions and beef and 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine, adding more to your taste.

Divide amongst two bowls and top with sesame seeds. Eat cold or warm.

Serves 2.

**Please use grass fed beef and organic ingredients wherever possible**

Note: If you do not have leftover steak, you can simply sprinkle your choice of steak with sea salt and pepper and grill for 4-5 minutes per side, until medium rare. Let rest and slice, proceeding with the recipe.

 

 

 

sweet + tangy cucumber salad.

Can I give you one last hot weather recipe before the summer ends? I know it’s after Labor Day, but it was 90 degrees here yesterday, so I think it’s appropriate. This is an old school recipe, too. Cucumber salad. Not just any cucumber salad. A cucumber salad that teeters ever so slightly on the verge of too sweet, but yet somehow manages to stay just perfectly balanced between sweet and tangy. Ergo, the name of ‘sweet and tangy cucumber salad’ was born. I’m so clever.

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I received a container of this from my mom when she was visiting, courtesy of my grandmother, who sent it over from a picnic. My aunt was the one who had actually made it. I thought the original incarnation of this recipe was too sweet, so I cut back on the amount of sugar and oil, which is reflected in the recipe below. The onion becomes milder as it sits in the dressing, so I recommend making this at least an hour prior to serving.

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Take this to any end of summer picnics, and watch it disappear. Sometimes simple, family recipes really do take the cake.

sweet + tangy cucumber salad.
courtesy of my Aunt Terri’s recipe. image

ingredients 
2 cucumbers, peeled
1 onion, very thinly sliced
dressing:
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon celery seed

directions
Combine the sugar, vinegar, oil and celery seed into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Turn off and let cool. Set aside.

Peel cucumbers (if desired) and thinly slice and equal amount of cucumbers and sweet onions. Cut about an 1/8 inch thick. In a large bowl, combine the cooled dressing and the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve chilled.

Note: The onion’s sharp flavor will decrease as it marinates in the dressing.

Serves 6 as a side.

**Please use ingredients wherever possible**