This salad is light, refreshing and highly addictive! I’ve been working to integrate more whole grains in my diet. The best way for me is to make a big batch of something on the weekend so I can eat off of it during the week. I saw the idea for a parsley based salad from budget bytes and really liked the fresh herb as the green in it. Since fall is here in full swing, this is also great because it’s not quite so heavy. Fall often brings warm, comforting, gooey foods and I’m also trying to NOT eat those for every meal. This is perfect. I mixed chicken with it for lunches for a satisfying bite and spruced it up with more vinaigrette when it dried up a bit.
You can mix up your grains on this. From brown rice to quinoa, to bulgar, it’s up to you. You could even make this out of orzo or any kind of fun pasta. Be mindful of the amount of vinaigrette you make, you might want more. My vinaigrette recipe is BASIC (not basic like the college girls are currently using) but basic in the sense that it’s a single batch with some nice flavors but not overly heavy. Spice it up, add more salt and pepper, whatever makes you happy. I like extra garlic and extra mustard, but that’s just my taste preference.
- 1 c. cooked brown rice that’s been cooled
- 1 c. cooked quinoa that’s been cooled
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, clean & dry
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped small
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins), chopped roughly
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp dried basil
- salt + freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together while the quinoa and brown rice are cooking and cooling so the flavors will marry. Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork or whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Rinse parsley and pat dry with paper towels or dry in a salad spinner. Finely chop the leaves and put in a bowl for mixing.
- Roughly chop the cranberries and pecans. Place in bowl with parsley.
- Top with the cooked and cooled quinoa and brown rice.
- Top with dressing and lightly toss.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Posted in Gluten free, Healthy dishes, Side dishes, Vegetarian
- Tagged brown rice, cranberries, parsley, pecans, quinoa, salad, side dish, vegetarian, vinaigrette recipe
Comforting and filing without being too heavy leaving room for football food and plenty of pumpkin everything, these burgers are up to the challenge! Fall is here. And the stuffing of my face with yummy things is coming. Not all the things are bad things, but not all the things are exactly good things either. In a vain attempt to have good things to put in my mouth that don’t involve the words “homemade macaroni and cheese” I was rummaging through my freezer to make room for other things and came across a bag of frozen black beans. Hmmmmm…..brain…..thinks……
Now before I get ahead of myself: the beans in the freezer–I have been trying to buy dry beans, soak them, use what I need and freeze the rest. It’s cheaper to do this and the beans freeze really well. I made a batch of turkey chili, using kidney beans I’d soaked and froze a bag for something fun later. I had the bag of black beans in the freezer since March and there was no freezer burn on them and they had not dried out or didn’t disintegrate when I defrosted them. A great way to maximize the dollars. I get a bag of beans for $1.25 or just one 16 oz. can for the same price for half of the product. No brainer. You can soak almost anything overnight with little effort if you’re worried about your time costing money.
Back to ma’burgers. I was craving them. The local watering hole makes one hell of a black bean burger and I wanted some. I make these and will sometimes throw in some tuna, feta, and black olives, but this time around, I wanted straight up burger. If you don’t have any greek seasoning (I make my own & store), you can check out your own recipe online to help you out. I’m not the boss of you. You know how to cook. I know it! If you like your burgers a little mushier, cut the bread crumbs by half. If you like a drier consistency, stick with the half cup.
30 min. total
- 2 cans (32 oz) black beans, drained
- 1/2 medium onion (cut in chunks)
- 1/2 bell pepper (cut into chunks)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. greek seasoning
- olive oil
- Put the onion, green pepper, and garlic in the food processor (or chop them ultra fine if you don’t have a food processor) and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add in the bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, greek seasoning and the black beans.
- Pulse until combined and chunky, don’t pulverize the beans.
- Turn out the mixture and hand mix if necessary to make sure everything is mixed well. You want to see some of the beans!
- Shape into patties. This recipe will make 4-5 very good sized patties.
- In a skillet on medium heat, saute the patties in olive oil until brown on each side, 4-5 min. on each side.
- Serve or store for quick lunches. These also freeze nicely.
Summer produce cannot be beat. The magic of a perfectly ripened peach is something that is simply divine and an almost religious experience. Paired with some creamy, smooth fresh mozzarella, and the bite of some fresh basil makes peaches my number one summer fruit right now.
No matter how food technology improves, there’s nothing better than biting into a ripe, juicy peach or a fresh ear of sweet corn. Tomatoes, cukes, berries, beans, etc…a whole plethora of goods are marching into my door to never come out 😛
I picked up some beautiful, fresh, fuzzy Virginia peaches on a visit to the farmers market and gave them a few days to ripen on the counter. Once they were firm but not soft, I dug in. Fresh mozzarella, juicy sliced peaches, and basil from my garden made the perfect triple threat. It’s filling enough to serve as the main course, classy enough to serve to company, and light enough for a summer cook out. You can cut everything into chunks for easier serving and Chiffonade basil in right before serving. Adding some olive oil or balsamic vinegar can add a nice level of acidity but it will make it get soggy faster.
- 2 ripe peaches
1 1 lb. ball of fresh mozzarella
5-6 fresh basil leaves
**optional: olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Slice peaches and remove pit.
- Slice thin slices of mozzarella.
- Layer together however it makes you happy.
- Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle right before serving.
- Drizzle with olive oil or balsamic.
Beet & Tomato Salad
Balsamic Green Beans with Tomatoes
Posted in Appetizers, Gluten free, Main Course, Side dishes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian
- Tagged appetizer, basil, caprese, fresh mozzarella, mozzarella, peaches, ripe peaches, salad
The guilt can be gone! Greek yogurt is strong enough to stand up to all those other dips this year! You’ll love this because it’s a healthier swap for the typical ranch or mayo based dips we see during the summer and on one will really know the difference. This stuff is hearty enough to get some veggies dunked in it, get slathered on a burger in place of mayo, and it will keep in your fridge and be ready for you when the moment strikes. The cool, creamy texture of the dip also serves up some protein and will make a great addition to your summer table and snack time!
I played with the ratio of yogurt to seasoning but decided that the best way to go isa 2:1 ratio: two cups yogurt, 1 ranch packet. You should test it out for yourself.
- 2 cups non-fat plain greek yogurt
- 1 packet of ranch seasoning mix
- Mix the two ingredients together in a bowl.
- Sit in the fridge for an hour to let everything get ‘married’ and get all delicious.
Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip
Spinach Dip Bread Bowl
Summer is here! Summer is here! It’s one of my favorite seasons for food! Everything tastes better because there’s fresh produce around, the weather gets us eating outside in nature, and the long days make us linger longer in good company. You’ll love this dip because you can take the produce you have on hand and turn it into some AMAZINGGGGG dip for a crowd. It can also sit out for a bit without giving anyone food poisoning.
I’ve seen several variations on this recipe using Feta, but I went with a good block of queso fresco this time around. Feel free to mix and match, my feelings will never be hurt!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 standard block (10 oz. or so) of queso fresco cheese, cubed or crumbled into small pieces
- 3 Roma tomatoes tomatoes, cubed in small pieces
- 2 strands green onions, sliced small
- 1/4 green pepper, chopped very small
- 1 baguette
- Greek Seasoning of some sort (or oregano, salt, pepper)
- Take a pie plate or equal size serving platter and pour olive oil over the bottom.
- Layer on the tomatoes, green onion, and green pepper.
- Top with cheese
- Sprinkle seasoning over the top.
- Toss GENTLY with a spoon until incorporated.
- Use bread to dip, scoop, and enjoy!
Crock Pot Crab Dip
Warm weather means bountiful produce and I’m thinking ahead to fresh beans cooked with fresh cherry tomatoes and topped with some balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! Is your mouth watering too?
I was lamenting that it was cold and yucky during a stretch of rainy weather and took to the grocery store to cheer me up. Not exactly a good coping technique, but thankfully, I made this healthy choice! Fresh green beans were looking good and a pint of festive cherry tomatoes also landed in my basket to be whisked away to an exotic location: my kitchen. Cook the beans to your desired tenderness, I prefer to keep them a bit firm, the same with the tomatoes-do what you like to eat.
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese
- Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until they become translucent.
- Add green beans and chicken stock. Put a lid on the pan so the beans will cook down until desired tenderness, about 8 minutes.
- Add cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
- Turn heat off of pan and cover. Let stand for about two minutes, or until cherry tomatoes are heated through or starting to break down.
- Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle parm over the top before serving.
Spicy Bacon Sprouts
These veggie “noodles” are hearty enough to hold sauce, super easy to make, and can add some extra servings of veggies in your diet! Spring is here, produce is showing back up at the farmers market and we’re all eating lighter, a bit healthier, and enjoying the longer days with endless sunshine.
I had seen Skinnytaste making some amazing veggie noodles with her fancy gadget. A search on the all knowing Internet revealed I had several choices in gadget and I chose to buy the $10 solution–I’m not that hardcore and who knows what else I can do with it?
I bought the OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler and hit the grocery store for some carrots and zucchini for noodle magic. To put this in one word: IMPRESSED. This gadget made me beautiful noodles in no time flat. Two standard sized carrots and one small zucchini yielded about two cups of noodles. I blanched them for about two min. to heat them through and put some of my favorite healthy sauce on them.
yields about 2 cups noodles
- 2 medium to large carrots, peeled
- 1 medium zucchini, washed
- Using the Julienne peeler, hold the veggie down on a cutting board and fun the length of it with the peeler. Remove the noodles, breaking them up if they’re attached to each other.
- In boiling water, blanch for two minutes (maybe three at most) to soften the noodles and heat through.
- Strain in a colander to remove water.
- Serve hot with your favorite sauce!
- Tip: I made a large batch and also cooked 1/4 lb of spaghetti, cooking the veggie noodles with the pasta the last few minutes. I ate less of the real pasta, more vegetables and didn’t notice what I was missing: carbs and cals!
Healthy Alfredo Sauce
Spinach Cilantro Alfredo Sauce