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.
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 🙂
Summer is officially here! College has been out for about a week and the temperatures are in the 90’s. It is around this time of year that I often find myself less inclined to eat a hot and hearty meal and turning my attention to lighter entrees such as salads and cold pastas. This meal is one of my absolute favorites because it is so easy and it combines some of my favorite flavors of fresh tomatoes, mint, creamy chickpeas and salty feta all bound together with a light lemony dressing and whole-grain couscous.
Summery Couscous Salad (adapted from Cooking Light)
- 1 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 3/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
In a large bowl combine couscous, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cinnamon. Stir in 1 cup of boiling water; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. In a seperate small bowl combine oil, juice, garlic, and sugar. Add oil mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mint, and next 4 ingredients (through cherry tomatos) to the coucous and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste and sprinkle with feta before serving.
This salad goes well with chicken, salmon, beef kebabs, tofu, etc. However, it can also stand alone as a nice vegetarian entree. It is so versatile you can play with the seasonings, sub in whatever vegetables are in your fridge or try a different variety of bean or grain. I was thinking quinoa would be especially good because it would up the protein content. Simple, healthy and delicious! I will definitely be making this salad several times this summer.
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: