Whether you’re still recovering from a few too many festive red white and blue cocktails (like myself, acquired a fever post Vegas), a sunburn or feel great but are stumped for dinner ideas, don’t worry because dinner is covered! Make this lovely pasta dish and you’ll forget all your dinner deliberation woes!
Entries Tagged as 'main course'
Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. And you should probably make it tomorrow (and Friday, Saturday Sunday?)
As promised, here is the first of the recipes I will be posting from last weekend’s feast! I’m not sure about you, but the 4th of July is one of my FAVORITE holidays! Not that it’s a shocker, considering it’s sunny, usually beach weather and filled with loads of seasonal grilled food. Oh and not to mention the fabulous company.
While my celebration this year won’t involve the beach, it will involve seeing my absolute two best friends, and celebrating one of them getting married this summer! It’s really not too shabby and I couldn’t be more excited. Plus I snuck in a little trip back home for about 9 hours until our Las Vegas departure, so I get to see the family too (hugs all around).
So back to this corn! Oh man, deviously spicy, a little creamy and tangy from the lime. Talk about a way to re-invent the corn that will absolutely wow your guests. Corn on the cob is always a little messy, but this makes it all worth it (plus more). As you can see I paired it with my classic grilled protein and pesto pasta, but these cobs would go great with your traditional cook out assortment or really anything, like this amazing slab pie from my friends at Food52 (and a beer, perhaps?)
I hope everyone out there has the most amazing 4th! I’ll be back tomorrow with some more recipes so get excited (I’m eyeing those strawberry shortcakes hoping one will fly with me to Vegas!)
Recipe adapted from Camille Styles
- 4 ears of corn, shucked and split in half to form 8 pieces
- extra-virgin olive oil
- garlic salt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I prefer classic Hellmann’s)
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- a bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- a couple tablespoons chili powder
- 3 limes, each cut into 6 slices
- course flake salt, like Maldon
- In a small plate, pour a bit of olive oil and roll the corn in it to evenly coat. Sprinkle all over with garlic salt.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat, and grill the corn until slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Turn occasionally to cook on all sides.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sriracha and a squeeze of lime juice. Whisk to combine.
- When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with the mayonnaise mixture, than sprinkle with cilantro, chili powder and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Roll all the corn cobs around in the mixture to get it all evenly coated, and serve with slices of lime so guests can squeeze more juice as they like.
Do you own a cast-iron skillet? If the answer is no, your life will immediately improve upon purchasing one! And the good news is you can find them for inexpensive pretty easily!
I first bought mine when I wanted to make this dish, which was perfect. Ever since, I have used it for everything from veg stir-fries to more poached egg dishes. But the best, you might ask? SEARING! It is the best thing I’ve discovered that sears meats and your meat equivalents like none other. Rests assured, I’ve just discovered the magical path to the much-desired brown caramel color we all desire! And it makes that glorious sound, the one where you know you’re achieving perfection (sizzzzzzzle).
So for this dish, it couldn’t be more perfect! Throwing in the lemons also offers a burst of color and the flavor of a charred lemon is simply delicious. For my marinade, I sprinkled the chicken with some salt, pepper and one of my favorite Penzye’s Spices for both chicken and steak marinades, Fox Point. This company is so amazing, they offer some excellent combinations and exotic blends you really can’t find anywhere in your local stores (including Zaatar, which I suggest you experiment with asap). Also mix a little olive oil, mustard and lemon juice and you’re set to cast-iron that chicken!
I would serve this with a fresh summer salad with some other citrus notes and heirloom tomatoes! The colors alone will almost make it too pretty to eat. It’s a real rustic dish, so tear your lettuce or spinach in large pieces and slice the tomatoes in wedges or thick slices. Make sure to come back next week when I show more fun and beautiful ways to show off your heirlooms this summer!
1 pound chicken breasts, about 4
1 tablespoon Penzye’s Spices Fox Point seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 lemon wedges
Combine the Fox Point, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mustard and salt & pepper into a small bowl and whisk together. Pour over chicken breasts and let sit at least 2 hours or overnight.
Heat the cast-iron on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add some vegetable of coconut oil (it holds up to the heat better than olive oil and has a higher burning temperature). Place the chicken in the skillet and don’t touch for 5 minutes. Add lemon wedges to skillet and flip, reduce heat and continue to cook another 8 minutes, until cooked through and thermometer reaches 165°.
Every foodie is at least familiar with the concept of pairing wine with your meal- fish and pasta typically call for a crisp white Pinot Grigio and a steak or heavier stew pairs well with a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. But sometimes, nothing satisfies like a nice cold beer. With summer on the horizon, I wanted to educate you all on the facts of paring delicious, local brews with your grilled and seasonal favorites!
When I first embarked on educating myself on the subject, my assumption was that you would want to pair a light beer with a heavy meal to act as a balancing act. I’m not sure why, maybe I just assumed it would be too simple for the concepts of wine with food and beer with food to mesh. However, the opposite was true! When you are planning your menu with beer pairings, you really want to focus on the flavors and ingredient profiles you get from the beer. Unlike wine, beers have several different ingredients you want to work with so that your palate can fully experience all of them and match your food.
I’ll talk about just a few of the most popular microbrews- IPA, Wheat Beers and Stouts/Porters. When you think IPA, your mind should go towards hopps and bitter profiles. For these reasons, IPA’s are made for your fattier and more comfort food dishes, such as burgers, cheesy flatbreads / pizzas and fried food. This makes a great option when having a grilling session with different sliders and burgers or with your bar food watching the Bruins beat the Penguins (hehe).
As far as your Stouts and Porters, you want a dish that has smoky or roasted elements, so think a barbecue themed dinner with tangy, smoky pork, beans and some greens in your menu or even roasted vegetables. The deep, smoky flavors in your stout will really shine and leave you feeling satisfied. Even a nice chili around the fire on a cooler summer night along side your dark beer would be a great option. Brown Ales need a similar pairing, so that’s why I chose to pair this local Pretty Things Brewery Brown Ale with my Ricotta Roasted Cherry and Arugula Flatbread. It’s not super cheesy to need the sharpness of the IPA, and the roasted and caramelization notes from the cherries and balsamic make it the perfect blend of flavors.
For your favorite seasonal Wheat Beers, a clam bake or sea food spread is your best friend. Here in New England, the summer’s really don’t get much better than this! Obviously for other areas of the country where the same sea food isn’t available, any grilled fish or shrimp dish would be equally as delicious. Since all the flavors in these items are lighter, you don’t want a super heavy or strong beer getting in the way of experiencing the delicate fish you spent so long preparing!
If you want to do a beer tasting dinner party this summer (which I think all beer aficionados and novices should), here are few things I recommend: 1. Make sure to serve your dishes are in order of lightest to darkest beer. You don’t want to saturate your palate with something heavy and intense before you have a lighter more delicate brew. 2. It’s way more fun to try and focus on LOCAL. Micro-brewing has blown up in the last few years and I can guarantee almost every state has a local brew (or 20), so I suggest hunting them down and feature each dish with a local variety. That way you can even add a little story to tell all your guests and help spread the word on your local fare, which is such a win win for everyone! Above I have brews from Pretty Things Brown Ale (Somerville, MA), Slum Brew IPA (Cambridge, MA) and Maine Beer Company Stout. And of course, little sample glasses I got from the Sam Adams brewery tour, our largest microbrew.
Epicurious also has a really interesting and informational article about pairings that I found extremely useful, so make sure to check that out as well! Let me know some of your favorite pairings and some parties you plan on hosting (save me a spot, please?).
Ricotta Roasted Cheery + Arugula Flatbread:
- 1 pizza dough, prepared
- ½ cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 -3/4 cup cherries, halved
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup arugula
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to pizza dough instructions, or 450.
Roll out pizza dough as flat as possible, in the shape of a rectangle. Spread ricotta on the dough so it covers the entire surface. Toss cherries with the lemon juice then toss on surface, making sure to equally space them out. Do the same with the shallots, season with salt and pepper and then bake for 30-35 minutes, until dough is browned on sides and the cherries are broken down. Take out of the oven and toss the arugula on top. Put back in the oven for another 2 minutes, until wilted. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and serve with your local Brown Ale!
We all have those friends who don’t totally like making vegetarian meals because of the fear they might not get enough protein or the stigma that they aren’t tasty and flavorful. Well the next time these skeptics come over for dinner, you should serve them this dish! With the barley (the traditional recipe is with rice, which would also be delicious) and chickpeas, the dish has loads of protein and fiber, and all the veggies give the dish a balanced finish.
Paella is such a unique in interesting dish. The saffron allows for so many layers of flavor and complex tastes. This version is far from the traditional, but for my first at-home attempt, this recipe wasn’t intimidating, even though it tasted that way! Some day I want to conquer the original with everything from clams to chorizo, but this is a great dish to get you thinking Spain thoughts! And yes- it goes with red or white wine!
This meal is such a nice option for serving a crowd, because it makes a lot and requires minimal effort. While you’re stirring on the stove, the root vegetables are roasting to perfection in the oven. At first I was wondering how well the root vegetables would pair with the other starches and the fresh asparagus, but everything married just perfectly, I wouldn’t change a thing. Just pair with a simple green salad with a classic oil and vinegar, and you’re set to go!
Even the pickiest of the eaters will be satisfied, I promise. Feel free to throw in some green peas or fresh spinach to add a little more of that green color. Let me know how your variations turn out!
Spring Vegetable Barley Paella
Adopted from Bon Appetit, serves 6
- 1 large fresh fennel bulb (about 1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed, each cut into 8 wedges; 2 tablespoons chopped fronds reserved
- 12 ounces baby carrots (from about 4 bunches), trimmed, peeled
- 8 ounces parsnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 8 ounces 1 1/2-inch red-skinned new potatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 plum tomatoes, chopped, seeds and juices reserved
- 2 1/4 cups barley or Arborio rice
- 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 can drained canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss fennel bulbs, carrots, turnips, potatoes and 1/4 cup oil in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender and brown around edges, about 1 hour.
Finely mince 1/4 cup parsley and garlic together. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in paprika, saffron and 1 teaspoon salt.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Add rice and parsley mixture; stir 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water and wine; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus, garbanzo beans and roasted vegetables. Increase heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Season paella with salt and pepper. Transfer to large platter. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and remaining parsley.
It may seem quite ridiculous to some, but before moving to the east coast I didn’t like fish. I know, I know, but don’t gasp with astonishment just yet. I have been converted and now anything from the sea is a part of my cooking routine at least once a week. With all the nutritional benefits and fresh ways to prepare both fish and shellfish, they are hard to resist.
If you aren’t a fan of putting your salmon in a cake, then you can simply eat it the way I have roasted it here. It’s my mom’s recipe and it couldn’t be more simple or tasty. Just be weary of small bones before you serve or eat it.
The finishing touch of the spicy yogurt sauce was just what the doctor ordered. It added a nice kick and tang that complimented the fish and the lemony flavor. The trick of using a measuring cup to shape is one I got from my good friends at America’s Test Kitchen, and not only does it make the presentation better, but it allows the cakes to all cook evenly and ensures all of your guests get the same size (trust me, they’ll be fighting for the biggest one!)
- 1 pound fresh caught salmon
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
- olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place salmon fillet on baking sheet, skin side down. First sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and then add the chopped herbs, distributing evenly over the fish. Arrange lemon slices so it evenly covers the fish, and drizzle with olive oil quickly to add moisture. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until flakes off skin easily. Serve right away if eating that evening, if not set aside to cool and refrigerate.
- 1 pound cooked salmon, flaked off skin
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped capers
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 piece hearty sandwich bread, toasted and processed to a crumb size
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Pull apart roasted salmon fillet with two forks to flake, making sure to remove small bones. Combine all ingredients, minus olive oil, in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, compact salmon mixture, flip over and tap until mixture is released and is one solid cake. Cook cakes, 4 at a time 4 minutes on each side. Serve over a bed of greens and spicy yogurt sauce.
Spicy Yogurt Sauce:
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon sirachia
- 1 scallion, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix to incorporate. Serve chilled with salmon cakes.
Shakshuka, is an Israeli dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. The name is not only fun to say, but this dish is really good. Like, really good! Plus it looks so impressive; you should probably serve it up for your brunch this weekend.
For me, tomatoes and eggs are a match made in heaven. Not only does this dish look incredible, but the chilies and spices make it taste incredible too! Baked eggs are hard to accomplish just right, but chopping is literally the most labor-intensive part of this this meal!
I served mine with toast, but it is traditionally served with pita bread for sopping up every single drop of the precious sauce and broken yolk all in one perfect bite. You don’t have to have a crowd over either, that’s why I tweaked Smitten Kitchen’s recipe slightly so you could make it a fun breakfast with a friend. You could squeeze a third egg in there if one just isn’t enough.
What’s your favorite egg dish? Are you a fried, poached, baked or scrambled person? Let me know how you like this dish, I swear you will love it!
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- ½ small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 or 3 eggs
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Warm toast or pitas, for serving
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, cayenne and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook 1 more minute.
- Add chopped tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
- Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with toast or pitas, for dipping.
Every time I open the cookbook Jerusalem, I get excited. Literally, every time! Each recipe is unlike anything I have made before and gets me seriously anxious to try all the different methods and use spices I never have before!
But I have to say, if there were one grain that I would have to pick as my favorite, it would have to be barley. Not only does it have a lot of fiber and protein, but its texture is so amazing and satisfying. It’s slightly crunchy yet buttery to sink your teeth into (whew I’m getting hungry just thinking about it). I usually pile random things on it like chunky pasta sauce, Mexican flavored beef or toss some with a salad, so when I saw this recipe to transform it into risotto, I was like YES.
This recipe is very simple to prepare and put together as well, compared to your traditional risotto. There’s no heating the stock and adding slowly, all that is required is a large skillet and a large stirring device! It also eliminates the dairy that risotto calls for, so it’s cleansing and offers a nice change up to the regular dinner for most people.
I’m not sure why, but barley and tomato seem to be a match made in heaven! I think it has something to do with the gluten compounds coming together… but that could just be a guess! Write how much you enjoyed the recipe or others you like from Jerusalem!
By Yotam Ottolenghi from Jerusalem
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch dice
- 2 small shallots, cut into ¼ inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 thyme sprigs
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 strips lemon peel
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- One 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
- Scant 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 ¼ cup sieved crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 10 oz. feta cheese, broken into rough ¼ inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- salt to taste
Rinse the pearl barley well under cold water and leave to drain.
Melt the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a very large frying pan and cook the celery, shallots, and garlic over gentle heat for five minutes, until soft. Add the barley, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon peel, chili flakes, tomatoes, stock, sieved tomatoes and salt. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the risotto does not catch on the bottom of the pan. When ready, the barley should be tender and most of the liquid absorbed.
Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes. Then lightly crush them so that some whole seeds remain. Add them to the feta with the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and gently mix to combine.
Once the risotto is ready, check for seasoning and then divide among four shallow bowls. Top each with the marinated feta, including the oil and a sprinkle of oregano leaves.
This week I wanted to focus on nutrient dense, easy weeknight meals for busy workers who still deserve a yummy dinner! This link Whole Living, which I do want to try someday with fish, inspired this recipe. However the chicken at my local market looked much more fresh, so I went with it.
Fennel is an ingredient that can be tricky; it has a liquorish taste, but if you’re afraid of that, it can actually be prepared in a tasty way. The properties that provide the liquorish flavor all aid digestion in the body. It has also been shown to help the repertory system and eyesight.
The slaw also includes broccoli, as well as raw apples and carrots, which are all nutrient dense. In the picture above it show how I used a garlic press to mimic the applesauce the recipe calls for in order to control the sugar levels. Also I eliminated the Tahini because I think it would pair better with the fish.
Instead of baking the chicken I thought I would add a little more flavor by sautéing it with olive oil, salt and pepper, as well as the fennel and broccoli.
This recipe is delicious and good for you as well. I would pair with a fresh spinach salad and some brown rice to add fiber. I’m so excited to bring this for lunch tomorrow! Let me know which way you try and which you like better!
1 lb. chicken cutlets, about 4
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ small soft apple, such as Macintosh
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 carrot, julienned
½ tart apple, julienned
2 stalks of broccoli, julienned
½ fennel bulb, julienned
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Lemon slices for garnish
In a medium-mixing bowl, combine the lemon zest, juice and olive oil. Cut the apple into small pieces and press through garlic press, getting the entire apple pure. Stir to combine then add the shallot, carrot and apple. Mix and set aside. In a medium saucepan, add olive oil and sliced fennel. Sautee over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook another 3 minutes. Add to the apple and carrot mixture; toss to combine. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the same pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and then the chicken. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until done and browned. Serve each plate with the chicken breast and cover with the slaw. Add lemon slice for garnish, if desired.
I have to admit- pasta is something I crave quite often and is a comfort food of mine. But as we all know, the carbohydrates can be unfriendly and sometimes whole wheat just doesn’t taste as good! After several trial and error sessions, this brand of whole wheat isn’t cardboard flavored; it’s delightfully wheaty and pairs wonderfully with any sauce you would like. Plus it has 6 grams of fiber per serving, which is important in any carbohydrate you eat!
I found this recipe for the sage pesto on Food 52, where they used on a grilled cheese, and it was amazing! So I jarred the rest and figured it would also work wonderfully in a pasta dish! To add some creaminess, I added in goat cheese and Parmesan as well. This pesto was great to use up my leftover turkey herbs; it breaks my heart when I don’t use things in time and they go bad. Also the pistachio nuts add great flavor and heart healthy protein.
This dish is great any day of the week or served with some greens mixed in, such as collard greens, for a more sustainable meal with friends. Whenever I enjoy pasta I make sure to have equal parts green vegetable to lessen the guilt and to add balance to my indulgence. It’s also one of those vegetarian dishes that certainly does not fall flat.
Sage is a wonderful herb that can be overpowering to some, but when executed the right way can add excellent flavor. This pesto accomplishes just that! Try out several different pesto variations; I enjoy using arugula and sunflower seeds as well!
Spaghetti with Pistachio Sage Pesto:
1 lb. spaghetti, preferably whole wheat or whole grain
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 oz. goat cheese
2-3 tablespoons Pistachio Sage Pesto
1 1/2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano
Chopped parsley for garnish
Boil pasta according to package directions so it is al dente. Drain pasta and add back to heavy pot. Add olive oil, goat cheese, pesto and parm. Mix to incorporate all ingredients, top with parsley for garnish and serve warm.
Tuna salad has always been one of my favorites. It’s simple to make, tangy, salty and extremely good for you when made with the right ingredients. My mom’s version (Vande is her name) is also packed of nutrient dense veggies, like celery and carrots.
One thing tuna is rich in is omega 3’s, which I’m sure you have heard all about! If not, they are an oil that is good for your skin and nails, and is essential to a healthy diet and digestion. But the most important element of tuna is the amount of protein.
Protein, especially lean protein, is one of the most important things we can eat because it keeps us feeling full the longest without adding extra fat, sugar or carbohydrates, which turn into fat in the body if not used for energy. It is truly the ultimate fighting weapon in a weight loss battle.
This recipe allows the protein to shine by using greek yogurt and veganaise (I use the grapeseed oil variety from the Spectrum brand). The reason I use these substitutions for mayonnaise is because it adds the rich flavor and tang from the yogurt, but contributes nutritional benefits more than egg yolk. Grapeseed oil is known to raise HDL, or the “good” cholesterol.
Also with the celery and carrots you have a full serving of vegetables, as well as vitamin A and C. Plus it tastes AMAZING over a piece of full grain toast or over greens in a salad. I like mine with a big slice of tomato too!
Vande’s Tuna Salad
1 can albacore tuna
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
2 tablespoons veganiase
1-2 pickles, chopped (or you can use relish)
1 tablespoon lemon
parsley, for garnish
salt and pepper to taste.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Depending on desired wetness and consistency, add more yogurt or veganiase. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When each season comes along, I love utilizing each fruit and vegetable that comes with it. As produce becomes in season, that is when its nutritional benefits are at its maximum and its favors at their peak. It’s like getting a whole new box of art supplies to make something beautiful.
Here we are, well into fall, and one of my favorite things about this time of year is using all the different kinds of squash that are in season. Most of them have loads of nutrients and are a healthier carbohydrate alternative to potatoes and pasta, yet leave you feeling just as full and satisfied. I like using these hearty ingredients in vegetarian dishes, but they also make wonderful sides.
This week after indulging in large plates of Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, I decided to put Shane and I on a nutrient packed diet, eliminating things like empty carbohydrates and adding more greens (which is hard to do when not in your own house and always have plans with lots of people). I had an acorn squash and thought about stuffing it, but then I thought putting it in a soup would be wonderful with the cold weather.
Acorn squash, because of it’s rich buttery orange color, is very high in Vitamin A (1 cup is 145% of our daily value), as well as beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Beta-carotene is known to reduce radicals in the body, which are cancer-causing elements. It also contains 15% of our daily omega-3 values. Wonderful veggie huh?
I also added in a classic combination- greens and bacon. I put in an entire bunch of organic swiss chard, as well as using the fat of the bacon to cook down my onions and garlic. Fats are a needed part of our diet and they are best when you have them in olive oil, an avocado or an egg. However if you have grass-fed, environmentally friendly, organic raised meets than those fats poses the same healthy benefits. Like I said, it’s all about balance right?
I hope you try this soup at home; Shane went crazy over it! Another thing that’s great about it is that it’s perfect for a week night meal. We had it with whole grain toast as well, perfect for a cold evening at home or with a group!
Acorn Squash Soup
2 acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
4 slices of bacon
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, largely chopped
1-2 cups water, depending on desired consistency
Preheat oven to 400. Slice acorn squash in half and place on a roasting pan, cut side up. Cover cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until tender with a knife is inserted, about one hour.
When the squash is done and cooled slightly, add to a food processor and until pureed to a smooth consistency. Add butter and nutmeg and puree to incorporate.
Add bacon in the bottom of a heavy pan and cook until crispy. Remove and place slices on a paper towel lined plate. Pour out some bacon fat until 1 tablespoon remains. Add onion, garlic and thyme until onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the swiss chard and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the squash puree and water until desired consistency. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, and serve.