I just got back from a trip to Allentown, PA to visit my grandparents for a week. It takes a solid 8 hours to travel from Columbus to Allentown. During one of our many rest stop breaks we happened upon a woman selling peaches from her farms that she had picked that day. Peaches in my opinion are one of the tastiest fruits there is but you have to get them at their utter peak or they are mealy and require a lot of sweetening in order to palatable. Well, these peaches were neither.
They were so juicy and not mushy at all–meeting all the qualifications of the perfect peach. Since, I don’t get to work with perfect peaches very often I thought I would make a meal that would highlight them.
Sweet Peach, Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad (Serves 1)
3 cups of arugula
Shredded Chicken Breast (about 4 oz)
1 oz of crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped (or sliced) fresh peach
basalmic vinigarette dressing (I made my own using this recipe)
Layer arugula, chicken, goat cheese and fresh peach. Drizzle with dressing. Enjoy with a slice of thick multi-grain bread for a simple summer supper.
This salad is highly modifiable though so you can feel free to change up the veggies based on your personal taste (especially this time of year when you probably have an abundance of veggies on hand needing to be used up).
I call it a vegetarian cobb salad because of the variety and colors of the veggies on top as well as the smoky sweet taste that is contributed by roasted bbq cauliflower that replaces the usual bacon. It is so satisfying and hearty. Filling enough for dinner yet not so sturdy that you can’t fill in cracks with a little fro yo later like I did :).
Vegetarian Cobb Salad (adapted from here)
•1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
•1/2 c. BBQ sauce
•1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
•1 avocado, sliced
•2 ears of corn, cooked and sliced
•1/2 of a red onion, diced
•2 medium shredded carrots
•6 c. lettuce
•crushed torilla chips
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place cauliflower florets on the sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Brush the BBQ sauce onto the cauliflower. Bake another 5-10 minutes. Arrange lettuce on four plates. Top with a “strip” each of black beans, sliced avocado, corn, red onion, shredded carrots and tortilla chips. Serve with you favorite creamy dressing (we used a light ranch). Enjoy! Serves 4
Spring break is here! That usually means one thing–I actually get to read a book that is not a textbook :). I am such a party animal.
With the above in mind I headed to the library a couple days ago and picked out way to many books to read in a week. One of the books really sparked my interest so I decided to read it first.
It’s called “What We Eat When We Eat Alone” by Deborah Madison. Being the most adventurous eater in my family I am always looking for new ideas or recipes to try that make smaller servings. The premise of this book is that various people have different approaches to making themselves a meal for one. Some will eat comfort food, some make microwave dinners and some like to take a little extra time to make something fancy.
One of my favorite ideas so far was to fry thin slices of potato in olive oil until crunchy and eat them with a sauce of yogurt, crumbled feta and mustard. Definitely, a must if you have a salt craving.
I was surprised how much people’s meals ranged from very simple (baked potato with salt and butter) to complex (risotto) and I wondered what I would make if I had the luxury of cooking dinner for one? Usually, I am trying to please the palates of four different people so I rarely indulge in making dinner with the sole purpose of my own personal cravings.
Then, in very unusual occurrence, I found myself alone for dinner on Monday night. I was excited! What was I going to make? I took stock of the ingredients we had on hand (this was around mid-afternoon) and decided to start by soaking some fava beans (What was I thinking?). Four hours later. . . I drained the fava beans and blanched them for 10 minutes in boiling water before peeling off their tough brown skins. Then I simmered them for an hour. I honestly have never made fava beans before and didn’t realize they took so much effort.
The difference between the unpeeled fava bean, the peeled fava bean and a cooked fava bean:
It was now 7 pm. I was getting very hungry and I had nothing to eat but some mushy fava beans (I overcooked them because I got distracted by a new Cooking Light magazine). I looked in the fridge and found a leftover salmon fillet we bought on sale at Whole Foods on Sunday and some leftover roasted butternut squash. So I made a salad. I laid down arugula and sprinkled the butternut squash and fava beans over top which I topped with simple roasted salmon and a drizzle of smoky maple bbq sauce. Weird? Probably. . . but delicious!
Now maybe this isn’t my ideal cooking for one meal since it was dictated by the ingredients I had on hand, but it was pretty delicious. Maybe next time I should try the potatoes with feta yogurt sauce? They shouldn’t take me any longer this dinner to make (seriously, who spends 5 hours making a dinner for one even on spring break?).
The temperatures keep getting higher and higher. Today it is supposed to be 92 degrees and the first day of summer isn’t even until tomorrow! The hot weather can sometimes dull my appetite for heavier meals. However, I still like to go to bed feeling quite satisfied (which an itsy bitsy salad often fails to do). So I created a take on one of my favorite cooler weather tosses of chickpeas and warm butternut squash with a creamy lemon tahini dressing. I made up this dish ahead of time and allowed it to cool in the fridge before serving it over a bed of arugula. Here is the recipe that I used:
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt
- One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1-2 bags of arugula
For tahini dressing:
- 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.
Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.
To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately (for a warm salad). Otherwise, allow to stand in the fridge for at least an hour before stirring and serving over a bed of arugula.
I loved how the peppery arugula played off the creamy tart taste of the tahini and lemon dressing. It also added a lot of bulk and for the first time ever I actual had leftovers of this meal. This makes the best lunch ever because once the toss is made all you have to do is plop it on that bed of greens and you are good to go.
As a side note, I also stopped at my local CAM the other day and they had some awesome looking pea sprouts which I have heard about but never tried before. So I bought a bunch to serve as a side for this salad. All I did was throw them into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, then drained them and stir-fried them over high heat with a little garlic and olive oil for 30 seconds. I liked them a lot. They kind of tasted like spinach but smelled like fresh peas. I am now interested to see what other dishes I can incorporate them into 🙂
My name is Candace (as you may have deduced from my blog title) and I love to eat.
That is a simple enough statement, but from here it gets more complicated. Apparently 30 billion other people do as well and they all want to blog about where and what they are eating. Whether you love chia seed pudding or 7o cheese macaroni (this is not a real recipe but seriously have you seen how much cheese one can fit into a casserole?) there is some sort of blog that caters to your individual tastes. Therefore, my goal for this blog is to narrow down these recipes by focusing on the most simple, nutritious and delicious of the bunch. I hope to help save your time and your waistline in the process. So. . .
sit back. . .
relax. . .
then jump up and cook whatever is on the screen as fast as possible before your saliva ruins your keyboard. Your stomach and health will thank you.
To kick things off I am going to share a component of my lunch from this afternoon. I recently stumbled (on my quest for all things healthfully delicious) upon a blog post by Mae found here. In her post Mae describes making a vegan cheese sauce from a one-to-one combo of hummus and nutritional yeast that has been thinned with a little water. I love hummus and I just bought a little bag of nutritional yeast from Whole Foods so I decided to give it a try. Let me tell you this was the most deliciously easy sauce/dressing I have ever made. It has a nice almost umami flavor and depth as well as incredible versatility.
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard of it, nutritional yeast are little yellow flakes of yeast that are beloved by many vegans because of their cheesy flavor that adds a subtle depth to a variety of dishes (it is also high in vitamin B-12). This dressing is so easy that it doesn’t even need a recipe but for those of you that like precise amounts.
The World’s Easiest 2-Ingredient Salad Dressing
- 1-2 tbsp of hummus
- 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
All you have to do is mix the two together and thin it out with some water to the consistency you desire.
I was thinking if you didn’t add water that this would make an amazing sandwich spread as well. You could even play with the seasonings by adding italian herbs, mustard, hot sauce etc. Here is the dressing below on my lunch salad of hard-boiled eggs, asparagus, roasted red potatoes and romaine: