Chard and Garbanzo Bean Salad

Standard

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

Roasted Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad

Standard

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.

2014-12-15 17.38.41

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!

Sriracha Avocado Coleslaw: A New Fan Favorite

Standard

As far as I’m concerned, there are two camps when it comes to coleslaw preferences: mayo-based and vinegar-based. Both have their virtues and vices, though one seems to be missing something from the other. I’m a mayo fan. Always have been, plan to always be, but I find I miss out on the bite of the vinegar sauces, but when I have them, I miss out on the creamy. :-/ What’s a girl to do? How about creamy and bite in one? Thus, the Sriracha Avocado Coleslaw was born. Continue reading

Fall Menu Ambitions and Favorites

Standard

The crisp smell of falling leaves, rain and harvest is in the air, and my mind can’t help but shift toward stews, potroast, roasted vegetables, pies and all the good eats that come with Fall. I’ve had a few menu items on my “to try” list since last year, so let’s see how many I get to this season:

What are some of your favorite Autumn-inspired dishes?

Roasted Corn and Avocado Caprese Salad

Standard

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!

Potato Green Bean Salad and Rustic Pesto

Standard

It’s picnic season, and an all time favorite of mine is this gluten-free, super easy potato and green bean salad. This baby first came into my life during my inaugural Hipcooks class “Healthy, Fresh and Zingy 2“, and I’m happy to say it’s made many appearances over the past few years. The most time consuming part of this dish is boiling and cooling the potatoes, everything else is smooth sailing.

Continue reading