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
I came up with this recipe for two reasons. First, we finally obtained the much talked about vita-mix. Second, I had just gone for a hot run in 85 degree temps and I was super sweaty and craving something cool and light.
Enter the 100 calorie ginormous strawberry lime freeze.
Not only do you get a huge helping of fruit you also get a good bit of hydration.
This freeze is so versatile. You can drink it as a snack or add protein powder for a full meal. Maybe you could eat it with toast and peanut butter like I did for a balanced breakfast with some staying power. Endless possibilities. Perfect metaphor for the long lazy summer days.
Healthy Strawberry Lime Freeze (serves 1)
1/2 banana (frozen)
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup almond milk
1 packet of sweetener (or 1 tbsp of agave or honey)
2 tsp of lime juice
Water (to taste)
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender, adding in water until your freeze is at it’s desired consistency (for me it was a little over 1 cup). Serve in a very tall glass and enjoy!
Looks a little like summer doesn’t it (only minus the perfectly sweet tomato slices because mine was mealy. . . oh well)
This recipes comes from Mama Pea whose had her recipes being posted all over blogosphere today with the release of her new recipe book. I actually just finished reading her first book and really enjoyed her recipes. She has a talent for making the flavors of healthy food accessible to not just adults but children as well (she probably gets lots of practice considering she has two young daughters herself).
It’s funny because I was actually planning on making one of her recipes that I have made a variation of a number of times tonight for dinner. It is your basic quinoa dressed up with sunny mediterranean flavors. I love it because it is super simple, takes about 20 minutes and can be served with hummus (always a plus in my book).
I served ours warm because, even though it is suppose to be spring in Ohio, the weather is still clinging to the last cool gray days of winter.
The quinoa tasted sort of like the summer that lies ahead (only better 🙂 ).
Mama Pea’s Greek Spinach Quinoa (Makes 6 servings)
- 1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- 2 c. baby spinach, chopped
- 1/2 c. crumbled feta
- 1/3 c. sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 c. Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1/2 t. dried parsley
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- optional garnishes: baked pita chips, hummus, Greek yogurt, vegetable crudités
Place a medium pot over medium high heat. Add quinoa and dry toast for several minutes, until grains are starting to brown. Add stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and grains are fluffy.
Add spinach, cheese, tomatoes, olives, oregano, parsley and vinegar and continue to heat until spinach starts to wilt and cheese has melted.
Serve hot or cold with desired garnishes or as part of a mezza platter.
Can you tell I like my food from my pictures? I don’t “style” my food per se like some bloggers do because I am always in a hurry to eat it! Yes, I eat everything I post :). Just sort of a disclaimer.
I served our quinoa with a dollop of greek yogurt, sliced onion roast beef from Whole Foods, spicy hummus, whole-wheat pita, kalamata olives and cucumber (not in season but it completed the theme somewhat). It was a nice combination but I think a piece of white fish or chicken might pair better with the quinoa.
I am definitely going to save this recipe for summer and serve it chilled with fresh veggies and hummus. I am looking forward to it already. 3 more weeks left of school for me (can you tell it is on my mind?)
I am back again! I really enjoy blogging I am just really bad at making a time commitment to it. Therefore, my goal is to start small and post one or two recipes that I made a week.
This week I tried I was trying to find a recipe to use up some of abundance of tomatoes and basil that I have laying around my kitchen. I had bookmarked a delicious looking pizza recipe a while back that I decided to give a try. It was absolutely delicious! It had a beautiful herb studded crust which was topped with a decadent homemade pesto and a medley of basalmic glazed tomatoes and red onion then finished with a sprinkle of “parmesan” cheese (which was actually vegan because it was a mix of sesame seeds and nutritional yeast but I think regular parmesan would work just as well). This recipe was slightly adapted from OhSheGlows who created a beautiful pdf of instructions.
I followed her instructions exactly except I subbed whole wheat flour for the bread flour and the crust still turned out perfectly. It had a rustic sturdiness that really held up well to the pesto and the moisture from the roasted veggies. I would definitely make this recipe again (especially since you can make a lot of components of this dish a head of time and basically assemble the pizza when you are ready to eat).
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.