Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

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Not only is this dish DE-LISH, it is also a visually beautiful contribution to the menu. The burnt orange from the butternut squash and persimmon, combined with pomegranate, celery, and parsley make itĀ an artistic winner at any meal. This Thanksgiving, I had a number of friends with dietary restrictions joining my family gathering, so I knew there would be a new variety of side dishes to try. Thank goodness I’m a foodie Instagram addict and found MindBodySoul’s awesome recipe reposted by Whole Foods. I was inspired and contributed something totally different from the other typical Thanksgiving dishes. Even the carnivores were impressed! Can’t wait to go round two with this recipe.

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Persimmon, Pomegranate, Celery Salad

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The winter season often leaves me in a rut for colorful, light food, so when I come across something that’s both in season and not heavy on the root vegetables, I’m quite excited to try it.

New Seasons Market is a Portland grocery store that not only has a ton of wonderfully organically and locally grown produce, but they always have super delicious samples to pass out (I promise that’s not the only reason I shop there). Recently I can across this persimmon, pomegranate and celery salad, which completely won me over. Between the sweetness of the persimmons, pomegranate tang and celery crunch, this salad is beautiful as a side dish or a meat dressing. I paired it with a peach bourbon glazed salmon (which basically is 4 tbsp of Aunt Becky’s Peach Bourbon jam on 2 lbs of salmon steak, baked at 350 for 25-35 min) and quinoa, of which there were absolutely no leftovers to speak of. Continue reading

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

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If you enjoy food porn as much as I do (obviously you do, because you follow this blog), I strongly recommend following Buzzfeed’s Tasty channel. In less than a minuteĀ a video, you quickly find inspiration for future meals, and perhaps a bit of a drooling session.

These meatballs are super delicious, and pretty fast to put together. If you happen to have any leftovers, toast up some sourdough bread, add a little Trader Joe’s cilantro salad dressingĀ and have at it. Continue reading

Coconut Pineapple Green Smoothie

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Friends, I’m in love. While coconut has always had a place in my heart, I have had little admiration for coconut water. Until now. Thanks to Whole Foods, I learned about a new way to prepare a green smoothie, and it’s one that I’ll likely be making weekly. Summer will never be gone as long as this bad boy (or girl, no judgement) sticks around! Continue reading

Chard and Garbanzo Bean Salad

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For something with so few ingredients, it really packs a flavorful punch. I was so pleased to share this dish with a friend recently, and she gave me the best compliment of all: entire shock at how tasty it was! Let this be your meal’s main feature, or partner with roasted chicken or pork. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll be adding this salad to your cooking rotation tout suite! Continue reading

Pork Meatball Banh Mi

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In Portland, Asian-fusion is its own food group, and while Pok Pok and Koi Fusion are among the city’s highest acclaimed Asian restaurants,Ā LardoĀ is quickly rising through the ranks. The best Lardo menu item I’ve had thus far is their Pork Meatball Banh Mi, with its sweet, spicy, andĀ pop of freshness flavor, this is a meal I can get behind any time of year. In an effort to limit how many times a week I want to eat out, I made my own Lardo-inspiredĀ banh mi, and while it’s not perfect, it’s pretty darn close! Continue reading

Roasted Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad

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Inspired by the Picnic House‘s brown rice salad, this side dish is a big hit at potlucks, lunch and dinner side dishes. Happily, the recipe is simple, limited effort and absolutely delicious – hot or cold.

Roasted Vegetables and Brown Rice Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium skinned, cubed sweet potato
  • 2-3 carrots, quartered and cubed
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small flowerettes
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnut vinaigrette (I prefer Lucini, found at New Seasons)
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • cilantro for garnish

Directions

Most of the “work” for this dish is taken care of while the vegetables are roasting, which can be done the night before and then kept cool until serving. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss cauliflower, carrots and sweet potatoes with 2 tbs of olive oil, some salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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While the vegetable roast, warm over low heat the remaining tbs of olive oil in a pot, then add the brown rice and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add water and cook to package instructions (usually around 25 minutes).

Once the rice has finished, remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally to release the heat. If you would like this to be a warm salad, immediately start mixing together the roasted vegetables and rice, add hazelnuts, cilantro, and vinaigrette. For a cold salad, let the rice cool completely before adding all the ingredients together.

Yup, that’s pretty much it! You may like to add more salt and/or vinaigrette to the salad, but regardless, you won’t be disappointed in the outcome!

Leftover tip: heat the leftover salad over medium heat with just some water, then break an egg and scramble. Makes for an awesome breakfast!