Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chilean Grapes

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Why I haven’t followed more grocery stores’ twitter feeds until recently is crazy to me. If you ever are in need of dinner inspiration, go straight to your favorite grocery establishment’s social media feeds, not the least of which being Whole Foods, New Seasons, Trader Joe’s and Fred Meyer. This brussels sprouts recipe came from Freddy’s, and I’ve recreated this side dish on multiple occasions. Grapes are usually available, but for the more seasonal foods focused people out there, replace the fresh grapes with raisins or even dried cranberries. Want a meat-friendly alternative? Fry up some bacon – a beautifully salty pairing with the sweet grapes and goat cheese. Continue reading

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 minute 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 dressing 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

Smoky Brown Sugar-Crusted Salmon with Avocado Cream

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I am a huge salmon lover, but I can appreciate others are still warming up to it. For those people, I’m really excited to try this spicy salmon recipe! If you’ve tried it, let me know what you think!

The Dough Will Rise Again

A small miracle occurred in my kitchen last week: I cooked salmon. Salmon that was totally raw – not smoked, or preserved in any way. No one was holding a gun to my head, and I had purchased the fillet of my own free will. Even better, I actually thought the final product was GOOD, and not just in an “I will tolerate this food for the sake of my health” kind of way… but in an “I would willingly eat that again, even without the presence of a threat of bodily harm if I don’t” sort of way. This can mean only one thing: I am growing as a person. Next thing you know, I’ll be ordering raw oysters at restaurants! (No. No, I will not. I am growing as a person, not growing CRAZY.)

Smoky Brown Sugar-Crusted Salmon with Avocado Cream

In all seriousness, I’m not gonna pretend that I just lightly seasoned the salmon…

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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!

Curried Beef Short Ribs

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I’ve talked about comfort food before. Sometimes it’s a gluten-laden bowl of Mac ‘n’ cheese or pizza, but it can also be a totally different kind of belly warmer that makes you smile at dinner time. Thai is one of those foods for me, particularly when there’s red curry and coconut milk involved. This is one of my favorite recipes, and extra delicious if you have 6 hours to let it cook, but is just as satisfying with 2 hours simmering time.

While I’ve made this dish many times before, this was my first attempt at using pork ribs rather than beef. The consensus: beef is better. Try it out and let me know what you think.
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Cranberry, Apricot and Nut Oat Granola Bars

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For those longer hikes and backpacking trips, it’s important to have protein and energy-packed snacks at your chewing disposal. But let’s face it, healthy snacks can be expensive, plus there’s all that extra packaging, and who knows what really goes in them if you didn’t make it yourself, right?

I faced a similar dilemma while prepping for my annual Ladies’ Backpacking Weekend, and decided to take matters into my own hands. Instead of loading up on Kind bars and Soy Joys (though I do love them), I tried my own homemade granola bars and a sweet treat. Thanks to Minimalist Baker for this awesome 5 ingredient recipe, which both accommodates great taste and easy creation. Continue reading

Roasted Corn and Avocado Caprese Salad

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Oh, yeah, summer won’t be over that easily! This salad is very simple to put together and a perfect side dish (or even a full fledged meal).

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1-2 corn husks or 1 can of corn (on the cob is WAY better!)
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • Seasoning – I keep this open-ended, because it can be good with so many different flavorings. I chose a BBQ rub, comprised of chili powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, brown sugar, cayenne and Italian seasonings
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • tomatoes, diced (I prefer cherry tomatoes, but that’s just my bag)
  • Kale leaves
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional meats: salami, cubed chicken, salmon

Directions

Grill up the corn adding butter and seasonings toward the end of its roasting (after about 10 minutes). If it’s not grilling season, it’s just as easy to do this on a stove top, it just tastes better when it’s off the cob. Mix in with avocado, tomatoes, and any other toppings you’d like. I found that the butter coated the whole dish nicely and didn’t require any additional dressing, though I would recommend a squeeze of fresh lime over the whole thing. Enjoy!