Category Archives: Vegetables

Prosciutto, Peach & Mozzarella Salad

ProsciuttoPeachSalad

Just because fall is here doesn’t mean we have to stop making huge fresh salads. I don’t have any complicated secret recipe to share today, just an idea for a killer salad that is super easy and totally dinner party worthy. We had a get-together a few weeks ago with 4 sets of twins, yes FOUR. It was pure chaos and there was pretty much a steady stream of babies screaming the entire time but it was still fun to get together with other parents who totally get it, no judgement whatsoever. I made this salad and served it with a balsamic vinaigrette and it was delicious!

Prosciutto, Peach & Mozarella Salad

I started with a bed of fresh arugula and topped it with ribbons of zucchini (made with the vegetable peeler), juicy peach slices, small mozzarella balls and small pieces of thinly sliced prosciutto.

Prosciutto, Peach & Mozarella Salad

Lately I’ve been serving salads spread out on wide serving platters rather than piling it in a deep bowl. I think you can show of the ingredients better this way and you don’t loose all of the good stuff on the bottom. If you have a serving platter, give it a try next time, it works much better.

Meanwhile, these little boys are getting SO big, I can’t even believe it…

Boys1

They both have their own amazing personalities. Camden is observant and calm but loves a good belly laugh and is OB-SESSED with bouncing. Jax is the happiest little baby I’ve ever seen, his smile lights up the room, his giggle is contagious and he’s ready to start climbing walls soon, this kid is going to get into everything.

Boys2

Boys3

They are totally starting to interact and it’s a blast to watch. They are obsessed with each other’s eye balls and pretty much spend the entire day trying to steal each others toys. It’s so cool to think that they will have a best friend to grow up with and will share such a special bond.

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Warm evening walks with the boys.

StrollerRunsThere aren’t many of them left but I’ve been trying to soak in the few nice summer-like evenings we have left.  I’m going to miss my long stroller walks.

Summer

This was an incredible summer, I love fall but I am going to miss the flip-flop weather, long days and warm breezes. Until next year! Bring on the apples, sweatshirts and pumpkin spice!

 

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Hey look! I have a recipe for you! Actually it’s more like I have a dinner idea that includes using Stubbs new Chili Cookin’ Sauce and a bunch of yummy add-ons.  I was excited to get my recent Stubbs package and see that it included some of their new products including this “Chili Fixins” kit.  I’m so into chili right now that the weather is cold.  Just throw a whole bunch of stuff in the slow cooker and a few hours later your house smells all spicy and cozy and you have a big bowl of healthy goodness to dive into at dinner time.  I’m sure this probably would have been good as is but in true food blogger fashion, I had to doctor it up with some extra goodies.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

I’ve been loving pumpkin purée lately so I’ve been throwing it in everything.  I’ve read its nutritious for the babies and of course its delicious and its fall and we have to make pumpkin everything all the time.  SO, of course I threw the pumpkin in here as well.  It doesn’t give it a super strong pumpkin flavor but I think it adds a little complexity to the flavor and richness in texture.  My other favorite way to enjoy pumpkin lately is to mix it up with plain greek yogurt, a little maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and top it with some crunchy granola, yum!

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

The Stubbs Cookin’ Sauce bag comes with a packet of sauce and a spice pack.  Just mix it up with meat in the slow cooker, turn it on and forget about it.  I wanted a little more texture and chunkiness in mine so this is what I added:

1 lb ground beef

1 small can diced green chiles

1 can organic pumpkin

1 can organic black beans

1 can organic kidney beans

1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not pictured)

I used a little over half of the spice pack and it was HOT! Like holy moly spicy! It was good but it may have been too hot for many peoples taste since I like stuff pretty hot.  I would suggest using only half of the packet and then taste it before you serve it, you can always add more then if you prefer more heat.  It’s a lot easier to add spice and flavor than to mellow it out if you make it too hot.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

This was SO good, I didn’t mind having it for leftovers 3 days in a row.  I served it with some shredded cheese and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

If you see these at your store, I recommend picking up a few bags, it makes an easy dinner even easier! Perfect meal for a big crowd!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My baby shower 🙂

BabyShower

I had my baby shower last weekend and it was so much fun.  It made me realize how lucky I am to have so many amazing friends and family members in my life, I was so overwhelmed by all of their love and support! It’s always fun to have events like this that bring together friends you’ve made during all different parts of your life; childhood, college and beyond! Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us and to all those who couldn’t make it for sending your love and thoughts, these are going to be two lucky boys!

P.S. The nursery is almost done! I’ll check back in soon with some photos since I don’t have much food stuff to share these days 🙂

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

ButternutSquashRavioli1

HEY!!! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately!  I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where I’m starting to learn the limits of my body and I’ve had to take a huge step back from living my normal active life.  I’ve slowed it down to a snail’s pace and had to spend more time resting which as a result means a lot less time laboring over the stove in the kitchen, and as you can guess, not a lot of recipes to share with you (sorry!!).  I hope you’ll forgive me during this hiatus but I need to do everything I can to keep these little guys baking in there as long as possible 🙂  I’ll still be stopping in here and there to say hi and share anything I have but it just may not be as frequent as usual.

Anywho, despite my lack of recipe creation lately, I do have one killer recipe to share with you.  I make these ravioli every fall without fail.  The second I see those first few butternut squash showing up at the market, I start dreaming of making these.  It takes a little assembly time but they are pretty foolproof.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Want to know the secret trick?  Instead of trying to make my own pasta dough, which I WILL try some day, I use these wonton wrappers you can buy in the store.  Just fill them up, fold them over and then boil them for a few minutes and you’ve got yourself a pretty killer ravioli.  You can play around with the fillings if you want to get creative but I usually stick to this butternut squash because it’s just so good.  The wontons create a really nice delicate ravioli, they aren’t quite as heavy as your normal pasta ravioli.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Make sure you don’t overfill them or else it will all start gushing out the side and it will turn into a mess that you’ll want to throw on the floor.  Full disclosure: after I took this photo I realized I had overfilled them so I had to take a little off each one.  See that one ravioli that’s one row down, three from the left? That’s about how full they should be.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Simply brush 2 edges of the wonton wrapper with some egg, fold over and pinch the sides together.  After they are all assembled you just drop them into boiling water for a few minutes and they’re ready to be demolished (by your mouth).

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

I’ve played around with different sauces for these and I usually just end up making a little browned butter with sage and topping with parmesan cheese.  This time I sautéed up some sweet italian sausage and then made a sauce using that and the remaining squash mixture from the ravioli.  It was super quick and added great flavor & texture.

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

You’ll want to plan on eating these pretty soon after you make them, if they sit too long they start to stick to each other.  I ate the leftover as one giant mass.  It was still just as delicious but the presentation isn’t quite as nice.

Hope you are all having an amazing fall!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Fuzzy winter baby clothing.

BabyOutfit

 

One of the most exciting things about planning for the arrival of babies is all the cute little clothing.  Especially these fuzzy winter outfits, AHHH, I can’t even handle the cuteness.  I just imagine them all bundled up on a cold winter day with their cute little faces poking out of this baby snowsuit.  Why don’t they make these for adults? I’d totally rock one of these!

Butternut Squash Ravioli topped with Sweet Sausage

Allergy Egg, Milk
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

Ravioli

  • 12oz wonton wrappers (1 package)
  • 1 Large egg (beaten)

Ravioli Filling

  • 1 Medium butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 1lb uncooked sweet italian sausage
  • 3/4 cups milk

Directions

1. Cook the butternut squash until soft & tender. You can either cook in the slow cooker with a little water, boil in water or roast until tender.
2. Scoop the flesh from the squash into a bowl and mash together with the remainder of the filling ingredients.
3. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and set up an assembling station with the wonton wrappers, egg wash & ravioli filling. Assemble each ravioli by placing a small dollop of filling in the center, then brush two sides of the wrapper with egg wash. Fold the ravioli in half and pinch to close. Set aside on a plate while assembling the remaining ravioli. You should have plenty of butternut squash mixture left over for the sauce.
4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cut the casings from the sausage and add the sausage meat to the pan, crumbling as you go. Cook until nicely browned and completely cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the ravioli and boil for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Depending on how many you make, you may have to boil in batches. Remove the ravioli from the water using a slotted spoon and carefully lay in a single layer on a plate lightly sprayed with oil. They will stick together easily if you stack them in layers.
6. When sausage is done cooking, add the milk and the remainder of the squash mixture and stir well. Cook until heated through. You can add more squash or milk to reach your desired consistency. Serve ravioli topped with squash and sausage mixture. Garnish with parmesan cheese and toasted sunflower seeds (optional).

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ok, so here’s the deal folks.  Its Thursday night, I’m exhausted, this week has completely kicked my ass.  I’ve been completely bombarded with work to the point where I literally (without hurting myself of course), banged my head on the desk a few times out of frustration. Don’t these people know I’m pregnant and these hormones can’t deal with the stress right NOW?? Anywho, I’m ready to go relax and enjoy a fun long weekend with friends, BUT, I feel like I’ve been thoroughly neglecting you guys and need to share some new recipes with you.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

SO, I’m stopping in briefly to share this one with you.  The only wrinkle is that I didn’t copy my steps down carefully enough to write down an actual step-by-step recipe so I’m hoping you guys can take this as inspiration and go navigate your way through it and create a bowl of creamy squashy bacony goodness on your own.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I decided to try making the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker which totally worked apart from the fact that it was a little more mushy and less stringy.  So, it tasted delicious but didn’t have that same spaghetti-like texture I’m used to.  If you’re ok with the mush, make it in the slow cooker, if not – make it in the oven like normal.

SquashCarbonara4

So in nutshell, this is how I made this:

I cooked about 5 slices of bacon in a pan, then removed it to drain on some paper towels.  Then I added diced onion to the bacon juices, cooked until soft and then added 1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) peas.  When those were heated through I added 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, some salt, pepper & nutmeg and simmered it briefly.  Then I stirred in the cooked spaghetti squash, chopped bacon and topped it off with some more parmesan cheese & bacon bits.  It was yum-o-yummy!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful long weekend!! Love to you all!

 

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Ok guys, I hope you’re ready for this one, it’s a keeper!  This is somewhere in-between two previous recipes I’ve posted: my Shredded Chicken Mexican Pie & my Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie.  The thing I love about these is that you get all of those awesome Mexican flavors in a dish but you can skip the whole tortilla thing to hold it all together.  The tortilla is just a vessel for the goodness and this time we’re just throwing all of the goodness right into a pie dish.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

As we were eating it, Tom asked me what made me think of doing this.  I admitted that I was actually going to make the same Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie I’d made in the past but when I was at the grocery store shopping, I had made it all the way past the produce aisle without getting sweet potatoes and really didn’t feel like walking back to get them.  Then I looked in the freezer case and remembered my awesome friends at Alexia had these sweet potato puffs that I could use as a substitute.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

If you haven’t tried them before, you seriously need to get on it and throw some Alexia items next time you’re at the store.  They’ve been a design client of mine for over 5 years now and they are some of the best people to work with.  They put a lot of care into the products they create AND they’re working on getting a lot of their products Non-GMO Project Verified which is pretty awesome as well.

I was so excited when they came out with these sweet potato puffs, nothing is better than a good potato puff and to fill it with the healthier sweet potato? Sign me up!  I actually get a little nostalgic when I think of potato puffs, they bring me back to my college years. Saturday mornings at the dining hall, you would see all these zombie’s walking around with trays full of 10 glasses of water and a HEAPING pile of tater tots.  I’m surprised our bodies survived those days, talk about resiliency!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Ok, this is how freaking easy this is.  First, cook the potato puffs according to the package directions.  Then sauté some peppers & onions until soft and season with a little taco seasoning.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you sauté some ground beef with the remaining taco seasoning and salsa and add in a layer on top of the peppers & onions.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you pile all those crispy sweet potato puffs on top of the ground beef.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you make a layer of shredded cheese on top, throw it in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bam! You’ve got dinner on the table!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

I really wanted to top this with some chopped scallions but I didn’t have any on hand so I clipped some chives and threw those on top for a little greenness.  Just serve this with a simple salad and the family will be oh so happy!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Leftovers of this were pretty delicious as well even though the potato puffs weren’t that crispy any more, the flavors were all still there.  Hope you guys love this as much as we did, this one will be going into the make-again category!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Eating on the water.

LunchLast weekend I popped over to Marblehead with some friends and we ate lunch at a restaurant with a deck right on the water.  It’s so nice to soak up the sun while watching the boats go by in the harbor.  I had a huge spinach salad with lobster on top and it was summer perfection.  I’ll be holding on to that simple summer memory as the snow drifts and wind move in this winter.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Serves 4-6
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs
  • 1 Medium Onion (sliced)
  • 1 Medium red pepper (sliced into strips)
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • shredded mexican cheese

Directions

1. Bake the Alexia Sweet Potato puffs according to the package instructions. Keep oven on at 400 F after they are done cooking.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add peppers & onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft & lightly browned. Season with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning. Transfer the mixture to the pie dish.
3. Add the ground beef to the pan with the remaining taco seasoning.
4. Cook until nicely browned and cooked through. Then stir in the salsa. Add the meat mixture to the pie dish on top of the peppers & onions.
5. Create a layer of sweet potato puffs on top of the ground beef and top off with a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
6. Transfer the pie dish to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
7. Serve topped with diced chives or green onions (optional).

 

 

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

….AND…its Friday already! Woohoo!  This was the best week, it flew by, I was super productive with my work projects, the weather was beautiful and I got in some good crossfit workouts.  Now to move on to the OPPOSITE of healthy workouts and take a look at this creamy dreamy dip recipe.  Actually, it’s not THAT bad for you, but we’re definitely not tipping into the healthy scales at all here.

One of the very first recipes that I used to make when I was younger was a hot artichoke dip, in fact according to tradition, I still whip up a batch for our appetizer extravaganza every Christmas.  I decided it was time to come up with a cold version I could make in the summer that still had that oh-so-delicious creamy artichoke flavor but without the heavy (and hot) melted cheese.

SO, I came up with this version, and it was pretty freakin’ awesome if I do say so myself.

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

It’s as simple as throwing all of the ingredients in a food processor, blending it up, and pouring it into a bowl.  Its awesome kept simple with chips but I’m sure it would also be great on some grilled crostini or with some fresh crudités.

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

BTW – if you haven’t tried Kettle Brand Salsa Picante tortilla chips, they are the bom diggity of all diggity.  I picked some up for the first time this weekend and we gobbled them up with this dip.

Enjoy this summer dip while the nice weather lasts!  You can probably make it in the fall or winter too, I won’t tell.

Happy Weekend to all!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Getting a new body wash scent.

BodyWash

haha, sorry that picture is GINORMOUS, its like I forced my body wash to take a mug shot.

I’m generally a pretty brand loyal person but when it comes to body wash, I need a different scent, every, single, time.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever, once in my life bought the same scent twice.  Its a weird thing, its like its my life’s mission to try out every smell that exists on my body (in body wash format of course).  This piña colada wash is pretty awesome, especially since you know what a coconut freak I am. In fact, I think its time to go lather up with some right now after that tough workout today, see ya!

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 can artichoke hearts (14oz)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Medium scallions (white & green parts)
  • drizzle olive oil

Directions

1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth & creamy.
2. Pour into a bowl and store in refrigerator before serving.

Salmon Green Chile Enchiladas

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

Hey there! Happy Friday!  I’ve had this recipe I’ve wanted to share with you for a few weeks and I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write it out for you.  Well here it is!  These were SO easy and so different and SO good!  As you may or may not know, I have a partnership with Stubbs BBQ where they send me their amazing products and I get to experiment and come up with fun ways to use them.  I was super excited to get my recent package when I tasted their Green Chile marinade.  It had such a great flavor, I knew it wasn’t going to take much to use it in a making a dish shine.  As you can tell by the name, its supposed to be used as a marinade but I decided to switch it up a bit and try using it as a sauce.  Boy am I glad I did!

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

It has a fantastic southwest flavor and HEAT! Oh boy does it have some heat.  If you like spicy stuff, then this is the stuff for you.  It was just the type of spice that I like though, the type that adds a great flavor and heat but doesn’t linger so long that your mouth is burning for hours after.  I’ve never tried making enchiladas with salmon but the flavors in this just worked.  The sweetness from the corn with with seasoned salmon, spice from the sauce and coolness of the avocado, they all just worked in perfect harmony.  The best part about this recipe is the minimal ingredient list.  I used Stubbs Chicken Spice rub for the seasoning on both the salmon & the corn filling.  Their rubs have suggestions in the name of which meat they work best with but I find that they’re great for all different uses in the kitchen.  Just check out the ingredients, you’ll find they are pretty universal spices.

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

I used fresh corn since I had a few leftover cobs in the fridge but if you don’t have any (or don’t feel like cutting it off the ears), I’m sure frozen corn would work just as well, I’d stay away from the canned stuff if you can, it might be too watery for this.

I started out by sautéing up some onions, corn and seasoning with the Stubbs Chicken Spice Rub.

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

Then I seasoned up this beautiful wild salmon filet with more of the rub…

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

…and then seared it in a sauté pan until cooked through.

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

Then its time for assembling!  I assembled each one with the corn mixture, shredded salmon, sliced avocado and shredded Mexican cheese.

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

This is the part where you smother those babies in the Green Chile sauce.  The recipe will probably make up to 6 or more enchiladas but I only made 4 since there are two of us and that’s all my pan would fit.  I used tomato basil tortillas but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

Then you smother in cheese, top with foil and bake in the oven until the cheese is all melted.  Remember that we just cooked the salmon & the corn, so you won’t need to cook it for too long to heat the centers.  If you would like to prep ahead, you can cook the salmon & corn mixture ahead of time and store in the fridge, just make sure you adjust the baking time so that it gets heated all the way through.

Salmon Green Chili Enchiladas

Hope you love these as much as we did!  Thank you to Stubbs for sending me such awesome (and oh-so-tasty) products!

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Picking fruit.

blueberries

I’m not saying that I’d like to do this for a living or anything, but occasionally getting out there on a gorgeous day to pick some strawberries or blueberries is very therapeutic.  Blueberries are especially awesome because you don’t have to kneel down at all, they’re conveniently growing right at eye-level, how nice of you blueberries!

I’m slightly terrified that my 5 pounds of blueberries are almost gone and I’ve pretty much been eating them by myself.  I’m hoping maybe Tom has been sneaking handfuls here and there or else I’ve got an entire body full of blueberries right now, its possible I may just turn purple.  Oh well, purple is a pretty color!

Salmon Green Chile Enchiladas

Serves 4-6
Allergy Fish, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 Small onion (sliced)
  • 3 ears of corn (about 2-3 cups (cooked & cut off the ears))
  • 1lb wild salmon
  • 1 bottle Stubbs Green Chile Marinade
  • Stubbs Chicken Spice Rub
  • 1 Medium hass avocado
  • shredded mexican cheese
  • 4-6 Large tortillas (depending on your baking pan size)

Directions

1. Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Add the corn to the pan and continue cooking until heated through (3-4 minutes). Season corn mixture using Stubbs chicken spice rub and then set aside in a bowl.
2. Season the salmon well using Stubbs chicken spice rub. Using the same pan, heat butter or olive oil and then cook salmon filet until cooked through, flipping once to brown both sides (5-10 minutes depending on thickness).
3. Remove salmon from heat and shred in a bowl.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
5. Assemble enchiladas using corn mixture, shredded salmon, sliced avocado and shredded cheese. Roll tightly and place side-by-side in a baking dish. Pour Stubbs green chili sauce over the top until it is evenly coated and top off with more shredded cheese.
6. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. (If you make filling ahead of time and it is cold when you assemble, increase baking time). During the last 5 minutes of baking, remove foil and let the cheese brown (you can use the broiler for this as well).
7. Serve topped with avocado & scallions (optional).

Note

If you don't have fresh corn, you can use frozen as well, just alter cooking time accordingly.

 

Beet & Feta Salad with Maple Balsamic Drizzle

BeetFetaSalad1

Hey guys!  Is it Wednesday already?  I seem to be losing track of the days.  We’re currently on a “semi” vacation in Burlington Vermont.  We always rent a house with our family every summer but since it fell only a week after our previous vacation, we knew we wouldn’t be able to take another full vacation right away.  So we opted for joining in but working remotely from here.  It is nice to be able to join in on the festivities but EXTREMELY hard to be sitting on a computer at a desk while I look out at the gorgeous lake in front of me.  As a result I have chosen to spend my non-working time relaxing on the porch or floating in the water and NOT writing blog posts.  Sorry, actually I’m not sorry.  I work so hard the rest of the year, I deserve some relaxation during the summer so I’m going to take what I can get.

Anywho, I made this salad last week and wanted to share it with you but I never got around to it.

BeetFetaSalad2

Last week at the Farmer’s Market I bought an assortment of gorgeous beets.  Some were red, some were golden, and some had this great pink & white striped coloring.

BeetFetaSalad4

I started by scrubbing the beats and trimming the greens off.  then I placed them in a baking dish with a few tablespoons of water and apple cider vinegar.  I covered them with foil and baked at 350 for about 50 minutes.

Beet Feta Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

After they are done roasting, peel the skins off and slice into small wedges.  I made a dressing out of a little olive oil, balsamic glaze and maple syrup.  Season with salt & pepper, drizzle with the dressing and top with crumbled feta cheese and chopped herbs.  Its a little time intensive but the perfect side dish for a summer meal!

Hope you all are enjoying a fantastic summer as well!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Working with this view.

WorkAtLake

 

I’d rather be out enjoying it but if I have to work, this isn’t a bad view to have…

 

Garlic Peanut Soba Noodles

Garlic Peanut Soba Noodles

If you’ve ever been to the Yard House and had their garlic noodles, you know that they are amazing but also probably filled with 1/2 lb of butter and enough sodium to last you a week.  These garlic noodles were inspired by them but they have a slightly different flavor profile.  It was 90 degrees out a  few nights ago so I decided something cold for dinner would be best so I whipped up some soba noodles, sautéed vegetables and peanut sauce and then cooled it in the fridge briefly before serving.

Garlic Peanut Soba Noodles

The great thing about this is that you can use whatever you have on hand and the whole meal comes together in about 20-30 minutes.  I had some leftover cole slaw mix so I sautéed up some onions, cabbage and carrots, tossed with the noodles and then topped with a peanut sauce.

Garlic Peanut Soba Noodles

You could serve these warm as well but they were EXTRA good cold as leftovers.

Garlic Peanut Soba Noodles

IF you have any on hand, some sliced scallions would be great in this recipe, I just didn’t have any so I did without.

Garlic Peanut Soba Noodles

You can also add more sriracha if you like things a little spicier.

Happy FRIDAY!!  Hope you all have another fantastic weekend!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Summer thunderstorms.

Storm

There is something kind of exciting about a summer thunderstorm.  From our house we can see the clouds forming and the storms moving across the water, its fun to see them approach and then hearing the thunder and watching the lightening.  We got hit with a doozy on Monday.  It passed in about 5 minutes but it hit us hard!

Garlic Peanut Soba Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or cooking oil)
  • 1/2 Medium onion (diced)
  • 2 cups shredded vegetables*
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • squeeze sriracha
  • 1/2lb soba noodles

Directions

1. Cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a sauté pan heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and shredded vegetables and cook until soft (5-10 minutes). Add minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
3. In a blender combine lime juice, water, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha and peanut butter until just combined.
4. Add soba noodles to the vegetables along with peanut sauce and toss to coat well.
5. Serve topped with sesame seeds or chopped peanuts.

Note

* I used shredded carrots and cabbage, you could use peppers, zucchini, squash or whatever you have on hand

Sun-dried Tomato & Feta Pasta Salad

Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

Pasta salad season is BAAACK!  I made this a few weeks ago and it was really good so I whipped up another batch for our memorial day BBQ last weekend.  It’s super colorful and flavorful and a little healthier than those pasta salads made with mayonnaise and eggs.  I basically raided the Whole Foods antipasto bar and then added it all together with veggies, feta cheese & a delicious vinaigrette.

Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

I was using quinoa pasta for this and I was so scared to overcook it that I think I took it out a little early so the pasta was slightly undercooked but the deliciousness in the rest of the salad made up for it, and you’re not going to do that so let’s pretend it never happened…

It’s kind of bothering me how it looks like there is a pound of feta on top of the salad in these photos, I swear I didn’t put that much on! Oh well, too much feta is a problem I don’t mind having.  When I get feta on my salad at restaurants, they always have this super soft creamy crumbled feta but whenever I buy it in the store, it’s so much harder with larger chunks.  Any favorite brands out there that makes a softer crumbled feta?

Sundried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

Ok, so I didn’t write specific ingredient amounts for this because it was just obnoxious to try to measure things like onions and chopped peppers but the good thing is that quantities don’t really matter.  Put in as much or as little as you like!  Here’s what the salad includes:

•  Tri-Colored pasta (cooked and then shocked under cold water & drained)
•  Sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil (the ones I used came with roasted garlic)
•  Finely diced red onion
•  Diced multi-colored peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
•  Chopped marinated artichokes
•  Crumbled feta cheese
•  Your favorite vinaigrette dressing (I made one with balsamic, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper & maple syrup)

Sundried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

The perfect summer salad to bring to a cookout or serve on a weeknight alongside some grilled chicken or burgers 🙂

Hope you all have a great weekend!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My summer container plantings.

SummerPlantings

We don’t really have any land to use for gardening so I do everything in containers and they always work out really well.  I got all of my summer plantings done this weekend, it feels good to get them done.  I did 3 containers of flowers, 1 container of peppers, 1 container of mint (because it always takes over everything anyways) and then another container with basil, chives & parsley.  Can’t wait to get some ripe juicy tomatoes so we can enjoy some of that fresh basil!  I also want to make up a big batch of iced tea with fresh mint! yum!