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Tag Archives: Salad

Beet & Apple Salad

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It’s time for something a bit lighter on the blog, right? After duck curry, deep dish, pizza, (oh, and some unblogged goat chorizo in there too), it’s time to write about something a bit more colorful and vegetable friendly. The January issue of Food & Wine comes to the rescue with this fun Beet and Apple Salad. I was all about this salad from the time I saw it. I love beets. Apples are always cool. And horseradish, when used appropriately, is awesome.

I made this ahead of time (which worked wonderfully by the way), and had it throughout the week. I felt like a light dinner on Monday night and ended up throwing a bit of light feta on the salad and just eating that for dinner.

This dish made me remember how crazy good pistachios are. I remember when I was younger my mom would buy huge bags of the bright green ones and we would sit on the couch cracking the shells and eating a ton of them. Roasty, salty and delicious. A perfect compliment to this dish. Oh, and how gorgeous is that beet-stained pink color? I’m in love with it. This salad is a real winner. It’s hearty, healthy, pretty and delicious with just a slight bite from the horseradish. And without my feta addition, it’s vegan too. 🙂

I realized today that the Cook’s Illustrated issue I checked out from the library yesterday features a recipe for DIY deep dish pizza!! [insert shriek of happiness here] I sense a fun weekend project coming up!

Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf

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I bought a new cookbook sometime in the past few weeks. Clean Food is just one item that Brent has pointed to as evidence of me having an online shopping problem. He may be right. I may be too bored for my own good. All that is irrelevant, however, because this book has recipes that I wish I ate more of. I was entranced while reading through it, and I began cooking from it as soon as I had time, which was today.

I chose to make Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf along with Winter Green Salad with Sugared Walnuts, Crispy Pears and Pomegranate. Let’s start with the salad, shall we? Today was my first time ever disassembling and eating pomegranate. It was interesting, and man, pomegranate is gorgeous, right? Look at that color!

I loved this salad! One note about the walnuts – I baked them for 15 minutes (the author suggested 20), and they were on the edge of burned, so watch out for that if you cook from this book. I have leftovers of all the ingredients, so I’m making this salad again sometime this week. It was definitely delicious.

On to the lentil loaf. I think I’ve made lentil loaf in the past, and thought “Yep. This tastes super healthy,” which is not a bad opinion, but it doesn’t necessarily make you reach for seconds, you know? Well, maybe lentils aren’t loaf-worthy. This recipe was fine. I thought it would be more flavorful, but was kind of disappointed in that regard. The glaze was delicious, but the rest of the loaf was kind of bland. Brent had seconds, but I attribute that to be a hungry dude, and not his love of lentils. He said it was fine and that “lentils are a nutritional powerhouse” but he did not request it be made again.

Overall, I’m excited to cook more from this book. I love that it’s organized by seasons, as Brent and I are trying to eat more seasonally. I’m making another dish from the winter section tomorrow.

The job search is on! I’ve got a few applications in for nurse residency programs and I’m hoping to hear something back soon! (If you’re a healthcare professional or nurse in the Seattle area, or know someone who is, I would love to connect with you!) In the meantime, I’m cooking and baking and generally enjoying my downtime. I made bagels for like the first time in a year today! Brent was super excited when he got home from work. 🙂 Got to get to bed now! Be back tomorrow with another seasonally appropriate, vegan dinner!

Cobb Salad

Understandably, I’ve been so excited and busy with planning everything that is happening – the move, graduating, job hunting, and everything else – that I haven’t spent so much time in my kitchen. Plus Brent’s been in and out of town for various interviews, so cooking seemed much less worth it.

But eating junk for the next month isn’t going to make anything any easier, so I figured I may as well get my butt back in the kitchen and make some simple meals for us. Last night I made a meal Brent really enjoys – Cobb Salad. He’s ordered a few times when we go out to eat and I know he loves it.

I’m not super familiar with what goes into a classic Cobb salad, but mine included (for 2-3 servings):

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped small
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 of an avocado, diced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4-5oz grilled chicken breast, diced
  • 2 pieces center-cut bacon, crumbled
  • 1 oz bleu cheese, crumbled (I don’t love this stuff. Brent put more on his portion)

Brent told me he’d prefer it served with a homemade ranch dressing, but I didn’t have ingredients for that and I didn’t feel like leaving the house, so vinaigrette it was. I made a balsamic vinaigrette by combining:

  • 2T water
  • 2T balsamic vinegar
  • 1t red wine vinegar
  • 1/2t Dijon mustard
  • 1/2t agave (or use sugar)
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/4t kosher salt
  • a couple grinds of black pepper

The salad was definitely a hit with Brent, and he requested I make it more often. I enjoyed it too. I LOVE when salad greens are chopped real small and I don’t have to wrestle huge leaves onto my fork. I guess I’m a weirdo like that.

Plans for tonight: drink some celebratory champagne and narrow down moving details. I’m just so excited about this move!

Brent turns 29

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Today was Brent’s 29th birthday. I make a big deal out of birthdays. Brent thinks of them as just another day, but I like to make them special. I started out waking up early so I could make Brent’s breakfast before he got up. I made some biscuits with bacon gravy. The biscuits were delicious. I’m not sure about the gravy because I do not get down with gravy, but Brent seemed to enjoy it. I just ate a plain biscuit and some coffee because I had plans to run later in the morning.

While Brent was at work, I made use of my time off and made a ton of stuff in the kitchen, including Brent’s birthday cupcakes. I love to bake – especially for birthdays, so I basically insisted Brent find something for me to bake for his birthday. He skimmed through Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and decided on Lemony Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream. He’s really been into citrus flavored sorbets this summer, so he wanted something that would taste “refreshing” when he bit into it.

These were wonderful, and I thought they looked pretty cute too! Brent really seemed to like them, so I was happy.

Of course, we had to have dinner before dessert. I’m slightly ashamed to say, Brent actually made his own birthday dinner. He decided he wanted Steak & Frites, and I’m not great with cooking meat or frying things, so he chose to do it himself. He made steak au poivre from Alton Brown and french fries from Serious Eats. The fries were a production. He started them yesterday! They involve frying, then freezing, then frying again. I do have to say these were some freaking amazing french fries, so if you’re looking for a salty, crispy, stick of potato goodness, I recommend these. The steak was good, but it was probably my least favorite part of the meal. I was just too enamored with the fries and the arugula, beet & goat cheese salad I threw together to add color and veg to the plate. I LOVE this salad.

An impressive looking plate, right? Enjoyed every bite! 🙂

After dinner we went out for a drink with some friends and it was way more trouble than it was worth. We got there at 8:30 and they were out of the first 4 types of beer Brent tried to order, and then when we finally got a drink, the bartender told us they were closing in 3 minutes at 9pm. The bartender felt a little bad for us, so he let us hang out a have a drink with our friends while he closed up. It was very nice of him, but what kind of bar runs out of most of their beer and closes at 9pm?!

We’re now ending the evening watching Futurama in bed… it must be Brent’s special day, because I can’t stand this show! I’m making freezer jam with my friend tomorrow! 🙂

Roasted Beet Salad

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Tonight’s dinner was all about the side dish. I roasted a bunch of beets earlier in the day to use throughout the week. I just wrap them in foil and roast at 400 degrees for an hour. Super easy to peel and slice. I threw together a salad of some beets, arugula, and goat cheese and topped it with a homemade apple cider vinaigrette: squirt of dijon mustard and honey, 1 part vinegar, 2 parts olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. So good!

I also grilled some wild Keta salmon, but I was mostly obsessed with the salad. 🙂 I packed another salad to take to lunch with me at clinical tomorrow. I love something to look forward to in the middle of a hectic day!

One month out

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Wow, this summer is flying by. We’re almost half way through it! I only have 4 more weeks of summer classes and only 1 month until my 25th birthday! I’ll admit I haven’t been feeling my best this summer. I’ve struggled with school, and the loss of my grandmothers, and stress about what will happen when I eventually do graduate. All that has added up to feeling overwhelmed and kind of retreating into a little black hole of eating pizza and taking to bed when feeling stressed (which is all the time).

But here’s the thing — the next month is going to fly by regardless and I need to stop using feeling busy and stressed as an excuse not to treat myself well. So I’ve decided to set some goals with myself. Take the extra 15 minutes a day to make myself food that makes me feel good about myself. Use my workouts as a stress-reliever rather than zoning out in front of the TV. Realize I don’t need to make any decisions yet and just concentrate on finishing my summer semester strong. Hopefully I’ll actually more things to blog about too!

I did manage to make delicious and healthy food this weekend, and last week. Here are some of my favorites:

Spinach, tomato and feta frittata:

Hummus, tuna, and veggie wrap — I am obsessed with wraps right now.

And tonight’s dinner, salad with seared Ahi tuna

I’m going to finish watching Last Comic Standing and then get to bed. I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend!

More Sunflower Seeds

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A big ass salad has to be the easiest, most perfect summer dinner, doesn’t it? I love them. And I love throwing random stuff on them. Case in point – the extra cup of raw sunflower seeds I have from that bread from a few weeks back. Tonight’s dinner was a mix of baby romaine, carrots, radishes, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, feta,  shredded chicken, sunflower seeds and red wine vinaigrette.

Every summer my sister hangs out in the Fort for a week, and this week is that week. I love making Sarah try new things when she’s here. The only new to her item on this plate was the radishes, which she said she “wasn’t sure” about. She actually really likes feta cheese and has had it before, which was a pleasant surprise.

Sarah and I have been taking advantage of the nice weather by hanging out by the pool yesterday and today. I can’t swim, but that’s irrelevant because the pool at our complex is only 4 ft. deep.  I also can’t tan. Instead I’m just kind of red and splotchy. I’m not sunburnt. I just look like I’m really embarrassed or something. Awesome. 🙂 We also have big plans to watch Eclipse later this week. I think it’s going to be a good week!

Tuna Nicoise Salad

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I cannot fully express how much I enjoyed tonight’s dinner! With 80 degree weather upon us, I was in need of something that would be refreshing. I can’t stand eating super hot or heavy meals when it is this warm outside. I made a Tuna Nicoise Salad and it definitely hit the spot.

Doesn’t that just look beautiful? The salad contained 3oz seared ahi tuna, 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 tablespoon sliced kalamata olives, a few slices of red onion, 1/2 cup steamed green beans, 1 roma tomato,  1.5 boiled baby red potatoes and 1/8 of an avocado (which I know is not traditional, but I just love avocado in salad), all served over a cup of organic spring mix. The dressing (for 2 people) was: 1 tbs. red wine vinegar, 1/2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar, 2 tbs. basil-infused extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard, and 1/2 tsp. honey. Whisk together and pour over the salad.

Yep, I was pretty much in love with this salad. I’ll probably make it again next week, because that’s how I roll. If I like something, I just keep making it until I get sick of it. Now it’s back to studying….

Belated Valentine’s Day Post

Hey all. My posting has been so sporadic, sometimes I wonder why I bother, but the blog is (if nothing else) a fun reference for me when I’m meal-planning. On to tonight’s post. If you read last year’s Valentine’s Day dinner, you may remember that Brent always cooks me dinner. This year was no exception.

While he was preparing dinner, Brent presented me with a cocktail ( also tradition), which was Stoli strawberry vodka, lime juice, and some sort of punch. Delicious and pretty. 🙂

Our appetizer was a mixed baby greens salad, topped with balsamic caramelized onions. He just sautéed this until caramelized and added splash of vinegar to deglaze the pan. At least I think that’s what he did. I was on the couch 😉 These onions elevate any salad to spectacular.

For our main course, Brent went with Sole Meuniere and fingerling potatoes. I love these potatoes! Unfortunately, the sauce for the fish was just a bit too sour. I guess I don’t love lemon as much as I thought I did, but it was nice to try something different.

In addition to schoolwork, I’ve been obsessed with the Olympics. Brent thinks my focus on the Olympics is borderline insane. I think he’s just sick of ice dancing. Oh, also I got my cholesterol test done, and it’s super high. 😦 Can’t outrun genetics I guess. I have a follow-up doctor’s appointment in two weeks, and I’ll get a better understanding then, but you may be seeing some dietary changes in the Monroe house.

I have more to post, so hopefully I’ll be back before next week!

Date Night

Earlier this week Brent suggested we make Saturday night “date night” and he was going to cook for us. I was shocked because I didn’t realize date night was in his vocabulary, and I was also surprised Brent was willing to do something so nice, given my complete craziness as of late. Occasionally I catch myself acting crazy and realize how hard I must be to live with sometimes. Only 3 more weeks or so in the semester!

Anyway, back to dinner. Brent used our “fancy meals” cookbook to come up with some meal ideas. He decided on a “simple” soup and salad combo.

First up we had Frisee Salad with Baked Goat Cheese and Bacon. Goat cheese… on bread!! This salad course was all kinds of amazing. A wonderful pick by Brent. The man knows what I like.

The goat cheese was a necessary and delicious addition for cutting the tartness of the vinegary dressing. The bread was an artisan Bread dough baguette I made this morning. The only change Brent made to the recipe was to use canola oil in place of walnut oil because (his words), “walnut oil is balls expensive.” I support that decision. Salad was delicious regardless.

The second course was equally, if not more delicious. Brent and I tend to enjoy a lot of the same foods, but I think he’s more adventurous than I am when it comes to cooking. He often picks out recipes that I might not pick, assuming they may not turn out well if I made them at home. I’m glad he choose this Portuguese Clam and Chorizo Stew.

For the stew, Brent made a few substitutions. Fort Wayne isn’t a super foodie-friendly town, so we had to make due with what Brent could find:

  • In place of smoked chorizo, he used some type of Boar’s Head spicy Italian sausage with paprika in it.
  • He couldn’t find 4 dozen little neck clams, so he used half fresh clams, half canned clams.
  • In place of piquillo peppers, he used roasted red peppers with a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Everything was wonderful, and I greatly appreciated Brent’s suggestion for date night. Now we’re resting on the couch watching some Netflix movies.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!