Caesar salads

February 12, 2013

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We’re big fans of Caesar salads at our house and since discovering Alicia Silverstones Caesar dressing from The Kind Life, it’s been on constant rotation. The thing that is fun for me, is deciding what to put on top of the salad. Since meat and seafood are out, I tend to lean towards some marinated portabellas as our topping of choice. This past summer I tried out some roasted cauliflower (delicious) and last week, in an attempt to clear our fridge of leftovers, I grabbed the final stalks of asparagus and cooked them up in our grill pan with lots of fresh ground pepper. As a side, they would’ve been tasty, but wanting. As a salad topper, they were delicious and added a fun new twist. So you can imagine how happy I was, when I offered up bellas or asparagus as toppings for Caesar salad to my husband, who responded with a “yes”. So tonight, it’s Caesar salad with bellas and asparagus. Y.u.m. Anyone else choose fun things for salad toppings besides me?

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Changing perceptions

March 15, 2012

Spring seems to have sprung a little early here in B’more.  For the record, I am NOT complaining.  I absolutely love the sun outside in the evenings, whether its when I head out for a run, or just sitting on the porch after work with a beer.  I also love that it gets me in the mood for more fresh and light meals.  I’m sure there are few more chilly soup nights left in the season, and have a few recipes up my sleeve for the winter holdout, but will gladly take advantage of warm evenings, with a little something like this:

SO Good.

This Lemony Lentil salad will make even the non-vegetarians drool (trust me on this one, I saw it happen!)  Heck. It made ME drool.  Over. And Over. And Over.

Doesn’t it just LOOK amazing?  So many colors and sweet/tart/neutral flavors tossed into one big bowl.  Those veggies have been topping my salads alllllll week.

Apples!? Sign me up!

I added some roasted tofu, that I marinated in my peanut sauce concoction and am sad to say, there is none left 😦

The recipe itself is from one of my old favorites, http://www.littlehouseofveggies.com/ , and if you haven’t checked her out before, go. Go now. When I printed out this recipe, I was frantically pressing the back button over and over again to print out more.  I have yet to be disappointed with a recipe from her.  On the menu for next week?  That Buffalo style tempeh salad and some “fish” tacos.  YUM.

I think a lot of times, people hear the word “Vegan” and automatically jump to image of me chewing on grass and drinking clumpy brown juice mixes.  After last night, it should be pretty evident, that even Vegans can have their junkfood 🙂  Even I was a little surprised.  The pizza, was AMAZING.  Its from a local pizza shop, Egyptian Pizza, here in town and they offer any of their pizzas cheeseless or with Soya Cheese.  And lemme tell ya, it is QUITE the relief to not have to give up our random Friday Pizza and Beer nights.  Not to mention an outlet for that inevitable baked goods craving.  I’ve also found myself looking at a recipe and thinking “oooh that sounds good, I wonder how I can make that Vegan…”, and what’s more, I’m acting on those thoughts now.  A lot of this new thought process is thanks to several blogs I’ve started reading in the past year or so.

AND before I forget!  I am now a firm believer of a recovery run.  I never quite understood the concept – how can you get faster or stronger, if you’re not working out?  And then, you know – I tried it.  A nice 5 mile jog through the sunny neighborhood (in my new kicks!) on Tuesday night, set me up for a great 5k run Wednesday morning, in which I am STOKED to say – I nailed my goal of breaking the 28 minute mark.  Now, granted, it was only by 10 seconds, but STILL.  I hit it.  I know. I’m slow.  But the IMPORTANT thing, is that I’m pushing PAST the limits I mentally set for myself and getting faster.   Next goal.  3 miles, 27 minutes flat.  GO.

Now tell me, what’s your goal? 


xo

Yum

January 26, 2012

Have you ever had one of those meals that is exactly what your body needed?

drool

That’s what this meal was for me.  Delicious, nutritious, surprisingly perfect on a cold night, and leaves room for creative liberties.

What you are looking at, is a great internet recipe find by my friend at work, who didn’t want to try it out before knowing how it would taste.  Well friend, your loss – until of course, you make it.   This, is a roasted butternut squash and quinoa salad.  Warm, a little bit caramelized and that awesome tart, that only bleu (or in my case, Gorgonzola) cheese can provide.

To add just a little bit more to this, and to feel like I’m not completely worthless at coming up with something delicious – (does anyone else feel like they’re cheating when they use someone else’s recipe??  Gotta start somewhere though, right?) – I tried my hand at whipping together a Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette.

And while it may not win the awards for the prettiest thing to look at…

It tasted like the perfect compliment to the perfect dish- my culinary pride is safe for now.   Whew 🙂

Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette:

5 small oranges, peeled (de-seed them if you see any)

¼ white onion

Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)

Olive oil (to taste)

About ½ tsp Sugar/Honey

Like most salad dressings, this one is pretty easy to make and is a less about exact measurements and more about the taste.   All I did was blend the oranges and the white onion in a mini food processor until pretty well liquefied.  Mix in the vinegar, olive oil and sugar (if you want) to taste and shake it up pretty well.

Drizzle it on the salad and enjoy! Preferably on a cold night, in comfy pants, after a long hard day of work.  Worked for me!

xo

ps.  For the record?  This was lick the tupperware the next day for leftovers worthy.  And I may or may not have done just that.

pps.  Quinoa Stir Fry???

Sooooo. The top is my first attempt at a crochet hat. It would fit nicely on a doll. The bottom was my second attempt. It would fit well on a scarecrow. Neither are particularly effective attempts. Although, if I’m looking at the bright side of things…which I am prone to do…
at least now I know a few things not to do? Attempt #3 is in progress. So far, I am better than attempt #1 and fingers crossed for surpassing #2 😉

In OTHER news. There isn’t much better than coming home on a freezing cold day, to a steaming bowl of homemade tomato basil bisque that I didn’t have to cook or warm up. Except of course a delicious fresh salad for lunch. Man, crunching into a tupperware filled to the brim with fresh veggies never tasted/felt so good. I’ve really been craving the cabbage, and was so glad I put some on the salad. Wonder if I’m a little low in Vitamin D (cabbage isn’t a huge source of it, but its high in Vitamin K, which is important for our getting enough Vitamin D) or Vitamin C…I’m willing to bet its one of these two that had my body screaming for the cabbage and broccoli all week…its amazing what our bodies can tell us. Anyone else ever able to link cravings to an actual reason for needing the food?

And we won’t get into the inner monologue I had with myself early this morning about the gym. But I’m happy to say there are 3 miles under my belt for the morning. This left me with an evening to enjoy tidying up a bit and trying this whole crochet thing…and with that…full circle 🙂

Indulge a craving and embrace having something to struggle with, in order to get better at it.

Xo