Category Archives: Dinner

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Meals for Two / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy

A Twist on Salade Niçoise

May 5, 2014

salade nicoise 1Yep, another salad recipe.  You know I can’t get enough salads — mostly because I’m a little lazy when it comes to cooking, and I like things that assemble quickly (ideally in one bowl).

Traditional salade niçoise doesn’t involve lettuce — it’s actually quite a stunning presentation of potatoes, olives, tuna, eggs, and various other things.  However, I had a bunch of arugula that I needed to use up, so I added it in.  Why be hemmed in by the expectations of what salade niçoise is supposed to be?  Do what you want, I say!

salade nicoise 2Potatoes in salad might be one of my favorite things.  (Who’s surprised?  No one — I love all carbs.)

salade nicoise 3A Twist on Salade Niçoise

serves 2 as a meal

  • 1 russet or handful of new potatoes, cut into chunks (peel the russet, if you’d like)
  • olive oil
  • dried herbs: thyme, basil, oregano
  • 1 small bunch green beans, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 bunch arugula, cleaned and spun dry
  • 2 handfuls tomatoes, chopped
  • big handful of kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 1 can quality tuna (I used albacore in water, but packed in oil would be delicious here as well)
  • red wine vinegar
  • dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: roasted beets, sliced cucumber and/or radishes
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.  On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a big pinch (each) of the dried herbs.  Place in a single layer, then bake until tender and crispy (20-25 min).
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add a big pinch of salt and green beans, then cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  3. For the dressing, combine 1 tsp dijon mustard with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar in a small bowl.  Add a big pinch of salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  4. Combine lettuce, tomatoes, olives, eggs, tuna, and green beans in a large salad bowl.  Add cooked potatoes, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.

salade nicoise 4An easy meal for weeknight dining.  Oui oui!

Breakfast / Brunch / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Vegetarian

Potato, Spring Onion and Rainbow Chard Frittata

April 21, 2014

I made this frittata last week (as you may have already seen on instagram), but I have to tell you, I have not stopped thinking about it since.

Ok, maybe there were a few moments where I wasn’t thinking about it, but it’s been on my mind because it was so. dang. delicious.

We got spring onions, green garlic, chives, and rainbow chard in our CSA box last week, so into the frittata those went, along with potatoes.

Frittata IngredientsOnce the veggies and potatoes were cooked, they got layered into the ovenproof pan:

potatoes onions and chardCovered with eggs + milk + chives + s&p + cheeeeeese:

Eggs and milk5 minutes on the stove, 15 in the oven and voila, frittata:

Finished frittata (half)Here’s a little more detail for you:

Potato, Spring Onion and Rainbow Chard FrittataPotato, Spring Onion and Rainbow Chard Frittata

serves 4 as a meal

  • 2 small to medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ discs (feel free to use red/yukon/whatever potatoes you have — no need to peel those)
  • 1 bunch spring onions (scallions), white and light green parts sliced (I used 4 GIANT spring onions, so don’t skimp!  If you get yours at TJ’s, use the whole bag — it’s going to look like  A LOT of onions, but it’ll be great, don’t worry.)
  • 1 stalk green garlic, white and light green part minced
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed and leaves torn
  • 12 eggs
  • generous splash of milk – about 1/4 cup (I used half and half)
  • fresh chives, snipped into 1/4″ pieces
  • cheese, grated (I used about 2/3 of a block of a sharp farmhouse cheddar*)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place potato rounds on a sheet pan in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake until fully cooked and the bottom is brown and crispy (20-30 minutes).  Remove from oven and lower oven to 400°.
  3. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, add some olive oil, spring onions, green garlic, salt and pepper.  Saute until softened and fragrant — 5 minutes.  Add rainbow chard and saute another 5 minutes, until leaves are wilted.  Remove everything from pan and set aside.
  4. Whisk together eggs, milk, chives, salt and pepper.  Stir in cheese.
  5. Place potatoes into the ovenproof skillet in a single layer on the bottom, over medium-high heat.  Top with onion/chard mixture, then pour the egg mixture over the top.  Let sit for 5 minutes (no stirring!) until edges are just beginning to set.
  6. Place skillet into the oven and bake until fully set, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Potato, Spring Onion and Rainbow Chard Frittata1*any sharp cheese would work well here — swiss, fontina, smoked cheddar or gouda… the possibilities are endless!

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Meals for Two / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

April 8, 2014

Raw Beet Green Salad 2

First off, I did think about titling this dish: Roasted, Toasted and Goat-ed Beet Green Salad, because there’s roasted beets, toasted sunflower seeds, and goat cheese in it.  But then I thought that was a little bit annoying, even for me.  I also thought that there was a very solid chance that this salad was going to be awful when I made it.  It’s pretty, sure, but beet greens?  RAW beet greens?  Not to mention that the spring onions I used were so freaking onion-y that it was all I could smell when I was putting this together…

I’m doing a good job selling this recipe to you, huh?  Totally.

I really don’t want you to think that I’m some kind of healthy-eating mutant who loves eating raw kale and chia seeds on the regular and would die before allowing red meat into her body.  Cuz I’m not.  I mean, go ahead and think that if you want to — your choice.  It sounds sort of nice to be thought of as some kind of crazy health ninja — completely inaccurate, but nice.

But no, I like junk food.  I love a big greasy burger.  And french fries?  Don’t even get me started.  I may or may not have a very trashy relationship with the McDonald’s drive-thru.  (PS: Did you know you can ask for your fries “fresh” there?  Yeah, it means they fry them up fresh for you and serve them to you so hot they burn your mouth off.  WORTH IT.)  But that’s not what this is about.  This is about everyday life where I make the conscious choice to not eat an entire jar of peanut butter in one sitting (and believe me, that’s a legit choice right there, because it could very well be reality), and instead work vegetables into some semblance of deliciousness.  And especially because I’m turning 30 this week (!) I did make a decision at the beginning of this year to get my healthy eating back on track so that I could ring in my 30’s wearing my skinny jeans.*

So, because of that and because our CSA has been giving us beets lately (sooo many beets), I decided I should try something new.  I roasted the beets like usual, but then opted to use the leafy tops of the beets as the base for this salad.  The beet tops are mild in flavor and a little more tender than raw kale.  However, these are still a pretty hearty green, so feel free to add the dressing to your salad and let it hang out for awhile.  If you end up having leftovers, this is even a salad that will hold up well in the fridge for a couple days.

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch beets with fresh-looking greens attached (I used 2 large golden beets and 1 large striped beet, but red beets would also work just fine here)
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds (just place them in a dry pan over low heat for a few minutes, tossing regularly until fragrant)
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese*

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar (start with 1 tsp, then taste and add until desired sweetness is reached)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives (optional)
  • hefty pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Remove beet greens from beets and roast the beets.  Once cooled, remove the skin and chop the beets.
  2. Remove beet leaves from the stem and tear or chop into pieces.  Rinse leaves and spin dry, then add to salad bowl.
  3. Add chopped spring onions, beets, quinoa, toasted sunflower seeds, and crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing (add a little water if the dressing is too thick), then add to salad and toss to combine.

*To make this salad vegan or dairy-free, feel free to sub in avocado for the goat cheese.

Raw Beet Green Salad 3

*Um, I should probably note that I did follow up this salad with half a dozen mini Cadbury Cream Eggs.  Real life, y’know.

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Stay Healthy

How to Roast Beets

April 7, 2014

We’ve been getting beets pretty much non-stop in our CSA box, which means we’ve been eating many a salad with roasted beets.  I was initially kind of intimidated by beets.  They’re delicious, obviously, but beets in their raw form look a little insane.

Luckily, with a little googling and sister-texting, I figured out that roasting beets is actually crazy-easy.  So here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Remove the beet tops and leaves (reserve them if they’re fresh — I have a salad recipe using beet greens up on the blog tomorrow!) and trim the bottom (it looks like a little tail).
  3. Rinse and scrub the beets clean, then lay them on a large sheet of foil.  If you’re roasting a bunch of beets which are different sizes, you can cut your larger beets so that everything is around the same size:
  4. roasting beets
  5. Drizzle beets with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt, then bunch the foil tightly around them to form a foil pouch.
  6. roasting beets 1
  7. Place the pouch in the oven and roast 45-55 minutes, until tender (a knife should slide in easily).
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven, open the foil pouch and let cool.  Once cooled, the skin should peel off easily with help from a clean paper towel.

roasted beetsAnd voila!  Roasted beets ready for salads, or whatever your little heart desires.

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Vegan / Vegetarian

Homemade Veggie Burgers with Creamy Bleu Cheese and Sweet & Spicy Slaw + Oven Fries

March 5, 2014

homemade veggie burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slaw + oven friesLongest.  Title.  Ever.

Anyhoo, given that it’s still the beginning(-ish) of the year, and because my 30th birthday is rapidly approaching, I’m still on the “hey, let’s eat healthy!” bandwagon (even on weekends, which is sometimes mildly depressing).  This does not mean that I’m some kind of alien being who looooves cooking every night and never craves a pizza/cheeseburger/allthecandyintheland.

However, given that I’m doing my best to be a mindful eater, I’ve decided to take my cravings and make them work for me.  This means that when I’m craving pizza, I have it.  I’m not ringing up Round Table though, nay nay — I’m making pizza myself.  (Hello — homemade dough + you-pick-the-toppings = less calories and less guilt than the local pizzeria.  Right?  Right.)

With that in mind, I recently had a craving for a burger, which is weird, because I don’t usually crave burgers; but I was reading a blog I like, and the author had posted a recipe similar to this one and I decided that I had to make it.  I opted to make my version with a veggie patty (mostly because I have butternut squash coming out my ears these days, thanks to the CSA box), and decided to pair it with some oven fries to make the whole deal very “diner authentic.”

What, you don’t order the butternut and black bean veggie burger at your local burger joint?  Weird.

Either way — this recipe comes together in a pinch, and it’s perfect as a meal for 4 people.

And hey, if you want to make it vegan, cut out the bleu cheese and replace it with something vegan-y.  Yep, totally a word.

If you’re g-free, use a gluten free bun or wrap this up in lettuce, protein-style.  Get crazy.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Veggie Burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slaw2Butternut and Black Bean Veggie Burger Patties

makes 4 patties

  • 3 scallions, white and green parts cut in thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash (I cubed mine and boiled it for about 20 minutes, then wrapped it in a paper towel and set it in the fridge til I was ready to make these)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rice, cooked and cooled (I used brown jasmine rice)
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (you could sub other beans in as well)
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cups ground oats or flour of your choice (use gluten-free oats or flour if you’re making these g-free)
  • additional olive oil for sauteing
  1. In a food processor, combine scallions, garlic, squash and olive oil, then pulse to puree and mix.
  2. Add spices, salt, rice, and half the black beans.  Pulse until just combined.
  3. Add flaxseed and flour and pulse until just combined.
  4. Add remaining black beans and pulse once or twice until just incorporated (you want these to be not fully pureed).
  5. Store in fridge until ready to cook.
  6. Divide mixture and form into 4 patties, and cook in a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat until crispy and warmed through (about 3 minutes per side).*

*You could probably cook these in the oven as well, like falafel.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Veggie Burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slawSweet & Spicy Slaw

  • 1/2 large head green cabbage, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  1. In a large skillet over low heat, add olive oil, cabbage, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté 1 minute.
  2. Add chili powder, Sriracha, and sugar, and toss to combine over the heat, another minute.
  3. Remove from heat, transfer into a bowl and squeeze lime juice over slaw and toss to combine.
  4. Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Creamy Bleu Cheese

  • Bleu cheese, crumbled
  • Greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Combine bleu cheese with some yogurt, salt and pepper, mixing and mashing with a fork.  Add a little olive oil as needed to thin out the mix.*

*Obviously, this isn’t an exact recipe by any means, so just use your judgment here — the mixture should be pretty thick, so estimate using about equal amounts of bleu cheese and yogurt + a minimal amount of olive oil.

Oven FriesOven Fries

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into sticks (you choose the size — the thinner they are, the quicker they’ll cook and crispier they’ll be)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into sticks
  • olive oil
  • sea salt*
  • paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place cut potatoes into a big bowl of water until you’re ready to cook.  (Soaking them ahead of time is necessary, but it doesn’t need to be a very long soak — even just 5-10 minutes should be sufficient.)
  3. Remove potatoes from water and pat them dry them with a clean towel.
  4. Place fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, salt and paprika, toss to combine.
  5. Bake until crispy, tossing every 10 minutes.  (Cooking time will depend on the size of your fries — start with 20 minutes and go from there.)
  6. When crispy and cooked through, remove from baking sheet and season with more salt as needed.

*I used Maldon flake salt for mine because I like a coarser salt on fries, but any type of sea salt would be good with these.