Tag Archives: vegetable side

Greek Quinoa Salad

greek quinoa salad | pale yellow Are you tired of quinoa yet?  I’m not.  It’s such an easy and healthful grain to add to a salad to bulk it up and make the salad more filling.  I don’t feel weighted down when I eat a quinoa salad they way I do when I eat a pasta salad or rice dish.  Maybe it’s the lack of gluten?

greek quinoa salad | pale yellowAt any given time Ruth and I both have leftover quinoa dishes in our fridge.  Yes, I know, we are very much yuppy white girls who live in Park Slope.  I fully acknowledge the stereotype and own up to it.  However, we’re not buying our quinoa from the co-op, so that should count for something, right?  There is nothing wrong with wanting to eat filling meals that are healthy!

greek quinoa salad | pale yellowI like this particular quinoa salad because nothing is cooked besides the quinoa; all the vegetables are raw.  The onions have bite while the cucumbers and tomatoes are juicy.  If you’re so inclined, add kalamata olives, I know they are traditional in Greek salads.  I, however, despise olives and will not include them in my salad, ever.  Plus, there is feta.  Feta is probably my second favorite cheese because of how crumbly and salty it is, I love feta in my salads!

greek quinoa salad | pale yellowThe parsley adds freshness and the lemon juice brightness.  This Greek quinoa salad is bright and friendly.  Because there is more of a dressing, it feels more salad like and I enjoy serving heaping cup fulls over beautiful baby spinach leaves.  That’s just me, you can serve your quinoa however you want!  This is a fantastic salad to eat throughout my first official week back to work.

greek quinoa salad | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower “Bread”

Print the Recipe!

Greek Quinoa Salad
Yield – 4 lunch servings

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1 medium red onion
1 yellow pepper
2 roma tomatoes
1 English cucumber
1 bunch parsley
salt + pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 ounces feta
spinach, optional

  1. Add the quinoa and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan over low heat.  Simmer and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring periodically.
  2. Slice the onion into thin slivers and chop the pepper.  Add to a large bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley.  Add to the bowl.  Sprinkle a liberal dosage of salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Sprinkle in the oregano.  Mix to combine everything.
  4. Taste the vegetables, add more seasoning as needed.
  5. Cube the feta and set aside.
  6. Mix together the olive oil and lemon juice, add the to vegetables and toss to combine.
  7. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl and stir to mix.  Gently fold in the feta.
  8. Serve over a bed of spinach if desired.
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Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower “Bread”

I’m neither a vegetarian or gluten free, but sometimes it is fun to cook that way.  The idea of using cauliflower as a base for pizza has been floating around Pinterest for awhile and I have been curious to try it out myself.  I was making dinner for a few friends and the idea of garlic bread was inciting, and a lower-cal garlic bread sounded even better!

Using cauliflower as a base for garlic cheese bread does not require anymore steps than making a dough from scratch.  The only difference I would make would be to drain the cauliflower of some of it’s liquid to create a dryer dough.  The edges became nice and crispy, but I wish the middle was crispier.  The flavor is fantastic!  There is a strong garlic flavor and plenty of cheesy goodness.

Print the Recipe!

Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower “Bread”
Adapted from Mom, what’s for dinner?
Yields – 3-4 servings

1 small cauliflower (only need 1 cup of pureed cauliflower)
1/2 + 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 + 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, smashed or finely diced
olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
salt and pepper
marinara sauce for dipping

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces.  Steam for about 15 minutes until fork tender.
  3. Use a food processor or ricer or immersion blender to puree the cauliflower, discard any chunks.  Squeeze out any excess moisture.
  4. Shred all your cheese!
  5. Add 1 cup of the pureed cauliflower into a bowl with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, the egg, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Use a fork to thoroughly mix together.
  6. Rub a baking stone with olive oil and lay a sheet of parchment paper on top, oil the parchment paper as well.  Pour on the cauliflower mix.
  7. Use your hands to pat the cauliflower dough into a rectangle on the parchment paper.  Try to make the crust as even as possible.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.  I had to check several times.
  9. Meanwhile, mash together the butter and the two remaining cloves of garlic with some salt and pepper.
  10. Smear the garlic butter on top of the hot crust and then sprinkle with 1/4 cup of each cheese.
  11. Bake for another 5-6 minutes, but watch closely!  You want the cheese to be bubbly and golden brown, not burnt.
  12. Cut into slices and served with sauce if desired.  These are great room temperature as well as hot!

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Sriracha Chicken and Roasted Corn & Red Pepper Farro Salad

Vacation is awesome, reality is not.  After two weeks of eating burgers, ice cream, and white wine, it was time for some healthful, vegetable laden eating!  As I was reading through my epic Google Reader list, I stumbled upon a recipe for farro salad.  This recipe sounded healthful, delicious, and used a new food!

Farro is a grain, sort of liked puff wheat.  You boil the farro like pasta and use as you would a couscous or quinoa.  If you want to learn more about farro, go here!  Sriracha is a sauce that is EVERYWHERE and I have been hesitant to use it, I’m not really a spicy girl!  It just looks so cool and I want to be cool!

Using the sriracha as a marinade provided a huge flavor boost for plain chicken.  I still found the chicken a little spicy, but totally manageable and very flavorful.  If I had a cooling, yogurt-based sauce, the chicken would be outstanding!  The farro salad was refreshing and super summery.  The roasted corn and red peppers were sweet and just a bit crunchy.  The onion added more crunch and cilantro is the right herb to accent the other flavors.  I really liked the chewiness of the farro and this salad provides a much needed divergence from typical summer salads.  And, this salad lasted a week in the fridge and it was still tasty!

Print the Recipe!

Sriracha Chicken
Yield – 5 servings

1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Italian herb mix
good pinch of Kosher salt
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

  1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a gallon size plastic bag.  Add in the chicken and squeeze to mix and cover the chicken.  Set on the counter for about half an hour.
  2. Preheat your grill pan and liberally spray with cooking spray.
  3. Place the chicken on the grill and cook on one side for about 10 minutes and flip over and cook for another 8 minutes.  Check with a knife to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Roasted Corn & Red Pepper Farro Salad
Adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen
Yield – 5-6 large servings

2 ears of corn
2 red bell peppers
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
1 cup farro
1 bunch cilantro
1 red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven 450 F and set a pot of water on the stove to boil.
  2. Cover a baking pan in foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Cut the corn kernels off the ears of corn and chop the red peppers to the size of the kernels of corn.
  4. Toss the corn and peppers on the baking sheet with a liberal dosage of salt, black pepper, and olive oil.
  5. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the corn is roasted and the peppers are soft.
  6. Add the farro to the boiling water with a big pinch of salt.  Cook for 15 minutes or until the farro is al dente.
  7. Chop the cilantro and red onion and add to a large bowl.
  8. When the farro is cooked, drain and add to the cilantro and red onion.
  9. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the farro and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Toss to combine.
  10. Add in the roasted corn and peppers.  Taste and add more salt, pepper, or oil as needed.

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Shepherd Salad

After last week’s cupcake fest, I wanted to post something healthy.  Now that it’s summer vacation I actually have time to make a nice lunch and eat it during the day.  There are few things better than fresh vegetables, some feta, and a light dressing!  When tomatoes are at their peak, I want to eat them everyday.

I had never heard of a Shepherd Salad before I moved to New York, but now I love them!  When I order one from a restaurant they always seem to have too much oil or not enough feta.  Typically I just make the salads at home now.  I feel like this salad goes by a lot of different names, but whatever it’s called, it’s delicious!

This a salad that gets better as the week goes on.  I made the salad Monday morning and ate some for lunch all week.  Luckily, I can eat the same thing multiple days in a row!  This is a quick and easy lunch salad or side salad.  Shepherd salad would also be great for a picnic or barbecue.  All ingredients are completely customizable for your tastes and preferences.  I like my salad this way!

Print the Recipe.

Shepherd Salad
Yield 4-6 servings

2 beefsteak tomatoes
1 English cucumber
1 medium red onion
2 lemons, juiced
olive oil
salt
pepper
8 ounces feta cheese

  1. Chop the tomatoes into quarters and squeeze the excess juice and chop up.  Chop the cucumber and add it to the tomatoes.
  2. Peel and slice the red onion into thin pieces, add to the tomatoes and cucumbers.
  3. Juice two lemons into the vegetables and add in a swig of olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix to combine.
  4. Chop up the feta and add to the salad.  Mix in.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Drain excess liquid if necessary.

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Beef Taco Salad {Roommate Dinner}

For all the steps, this is a pretty simple dinner to throw together.  And, anytime you are making your own taco shell bowls you are going to look impressive!  Stacey was out of town for the weekend and Ruth and I were settling in for a weekend marathon of Downtown Abbey.  If you have never seen Downtown Abbey, go by season 1 & 2, and start watching!  I love this mini-series!  I’m actually kind of in withdrawl now that it is over and think about Matthew and Mary all the time.  I had watched season 1 awhile ago and missed the last 2 episodes of season 2.  Ruth had never watched the series before, so we decided to start from the beginning.

Obviously it was a good weekend of tv viewing!  And this was a fantastic dinner to kick start the marathon.  I must have an iron deficiency because I have been craving ground beef all week.  Usually I opt for a burger when I have these cravings, but that’s not what I wanted.  I wanted greasy taco meat, you know what I’m talking about!  I don’t cook like that at home though, I try to cook healthful meals at home and eat delicious, greasy goodness when I’m out.

This taco salad was the perfect compromise.  The shell was crispy and satisfying without being fried and the ground beef was super flavorful and the corn & beans add texture all without being greasy.  All of the fresh veggies make this a salad and a bit of cheese & non-fat yogurt add the perfect creaminess.  Overall, a delicious, bountiful dinner salad!  I don’t really believe if following recipes when making salads, so feel freshly to interrupt in any way you so choose.

Menu

  1. Beef Taco Salad
  2. Watermelon Martinis
  3. Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Print the recipe.

Beef Taco Salad {Roommate Dinner}
Yield 3-4 servings

3-4 flour tortillas
1 teaspoon oil
.78 lbs ground beef, 90% lean
salt – good pinch
15 grinds of pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup frozen corn
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato
1 1/2 avocados
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
lettuce
non-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
salsa

  1. Turn 3-4 oven safe bowls upside down and spray the bottoms with cooking spray.  Place inside the oven and turn on the oven to 350 F.  Let the bowl and the oven preheat for 10 minutes.
  2. Once the oven is preheated, place the tortillas over the bowls and let bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges turn brown and they get crispy.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  3. Add the oil to a medium saute pan and let heat. Add the ground beef.  Stir and cook the beef until almost all is cooked.  Keep breaking apart the pieces with the spoon.
  4. Once the beef is almost all cooked, add the salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and chili pepper.  Stir well and add the corn and beans.  Mix well to heat everything.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Dice the tomato and avocado.  Slice the red onion and grate the cheddar cheese.
  6. To assemble, place the tortilla bowl in a large bowl or on a plate.
  7. Add the lettuce, then the ground beef, then the tomatoes, avocados, onions, and cheese.
  8. Top with yogurt and salsa as desired.

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Black Bean Sliders {Roommate Dinner}

It’s time for some real talk – I made these sliders on Sunday, yet I did not eat them until Tuesday.  I’m sure you’re very confused.  Aren’t roommate dinners on Sunday?

Roommate dinners ARE on Sunday, and my roommates did eat them on Sunday.  Now you may be asking yourself why I didn’t eat them on Sunday with my roommates.

Let me tell you a story.   It was my turn to make dinner on Seis de Mayo, but Cinco de Mayo kicked my butt hard.  Like I never want to have another margarita, hard.  Yet, in my post-margarita-haze, I was still able to make a delicious dinner!  There was a lot of laying on the couch in between steps,  but dinner made it to the table and I went to bed.  Sunday was not my proudest of moments.

The burgers were delicious!  A little bit spicy from the cayenne (Stacey and Ruth claim they tasted no spiciness, but we have different palates) and soft from the beans.  You could really taste the cilantro and I loved how you could see the bits of corn, cilantro, onion, and bean throughout the slider.  They just scream healthful!  The avocado mayo was the perfect condiment with a bit of sass and lot of flavor.  The homemade buns were amazing, but more on those in another post!

Yes, this menu had originally had more extensive plans, but whatevs.

Menu

  1. Black bean sliders with avocado mayo (recipe below)
  2. Homemade buns
  3. Asparagus grilled with oil, salt, & pepper

Print the Recipe.

Black Bean Sliders
Adapted from Mother Thyme
Yield – 12 sliders (feeds 4-6 people)

2 cloves of garlic
1 cup white onion (1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 15.5 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons catsup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
15 grinds of fresh pepper
2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
olive oil for sauteing

  1. Finely chop the garlic and the onion.
  2. Add about a teaspoon of oil to a saute pan and saute the garlic and onions until tender and translucent.  Turn off the heat and add the corn into the pan.  Set aside.
  3. Drain and rinse the black beans.   Place in a medium sized bowl and use a potato masher to smush the black beans into a chunky paste.  Add in the catsup, soy sauce, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.
  4. Mix in the sauteed mixture.  Add in enough bread crumbs to dry the mixture.
  5. Use a standard ice cream scoop to make 12 equal balls.  Flatten each ball and place in the fridge for about 1/2 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, make the avocado mayo.
  7. Add some oil to the saute pan and cook the patties 6 at a time until they are thoroughly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

Avocado Mayo
1 avocado
1/2 cup light mayo
juice of one lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl.  Use a fork to smush together.
  2. Cover and keep chilled in the fridge.
  3. Spread on rolls, add a few slices of tomato, and top with the cooked patty.

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Pulled Pork Sliders and Cole Slaw

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!  I know technically it is past Super Bowl Sunday, but this is what I made for the Super Bowl.  What can I say, I’m a Lions fan, I’m a little behind on things.  However, I did cheer for the Giants since I live in New York.  For me the Super Bowl is about the food, this menu of new foods has been planned for several weeks, I was just waiting for a reason to cook it all!

Super Bowl Menu

All the recipes will be posted, but for now, let’s focus on the main event!

Pulled Pork Sliders

Adapted from Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats

  • 4 1/2 lbs pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
  • liberal amounts of Lawry’s Seasoning
  • 16 oz (2 cups) diet Dr. Pete (I have a Soda Stream, otherwise you can use Dr. Pepper or any soda of your choice, I have seen recipes with Diet Pepsi, Root Beer, and Coke)
  • 18 oz BBQ Sauce – I used Rudy’s Bar-BQ Sauce, it had been gifted to us and has been sitting in the cupboard for awhile
  • 20 Mini Rolls

Cover the pork with a lot of seasoning salt, cover all the sides.

Place the pork in the crock pot.

Pour in about half the bbq sauce and the soda.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low, I cooked about about 8 and then shred with two forks.

Add more bbq sauce as needed and keep warm in the crock pot.

The pulled pork was delicious!  The meat was really juicy and tender.  My pork was really fatty and it sort of grossed me out, but I guess that’s why pulled pork is so wonderful, all the fattiness!

Cole Slaw

Adapted from Beantown Baker

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, I use Hellman’s
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • generous sprinkle of Kosher salt
  • several cracks of fresh ground pepper
  • 16 oz bag prepared Cole slaw mix

Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the Cole slaw mix.  Use a rubber spatual to mix until well combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for serving.  I like my Cole slaw well married and a little soggy so I made it in the morning to serve at game time.

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