Yeah, I’m back to blogging. Yay!
So, it’s spring in California. But not here. What does that mean? Um, sweet potato arugula salad, the perfect mix of winter-y root veggies and tender spring greens. The sweet potato and homemade honey mustard dressing (inspired by an old coworker who used to use condiments in the dining hall to make her salad dressings) cut the peppery bitterness of the arugula. This recipe doesn’t use exact measures, just add ingredients as you see fit.
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Sweet potato
- Hard cooked eggs (Martha Stewart has the best directions for cooking eggs, see them here)
- Goat cheese
- 3 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 part balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 part honey
- 1 part mustard of your choice (I recommend spicy brown or Dijon to add a little kick)
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Cook eggs according to these directions from Martha Stewart, or whatever method you prefer.
- Cook the sweet potato in the oven or microwave. I prefer the microwave, it cooks faster and I find that oven-baked sweet potatoes are too sweet for my taste.
- While sweet potatoes and/or eggs are cooking, combine other ingredients.
- To get the goat cheese into the salad from a chevre log, you have to crumble it. I’ve found that the best method is to cut off a piece of the log and break it into smaller pieces with my fingers. It’s kind of messy, so if you have a better way, let me know.
- Allow potatoes to cool enough for you to chop them. Chop the potatoes, add them to the salad.
- Add the eggs.
- Toss. The goat cheese will spread out over the salad, especially if the eggs or sweet potatoes are still warm. If not, no problem, you’ll have delicious chunks of goat cheese in your salad.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together with a fork.
- Using a small piece of arugula, taste test the dressing and adjust as needed.
- Drizzle dressing over salad.
Sweet potato carnage!
Tossing the salad, whoo!
Doesn’t the dressing just look so appetizing? I promise, it tastes better than it looks.
Nommy, nommy lentils
Spinach is one of my favorite greens. I will eat it in pretty much any form, but I really love it raw. This particular dish was inspired by my dining hall days– I would try to eat healthy by using spinach as base for my tomato sauce rather than pasta. The heat from the tomato sauce actually cooks the spinach slightly, so the spinach is “al-dante.” Now that I am a big girl or whatever I decided to make my old stand-by-side a meal by adding protein and fiber packed lentils. I’ve found that the best way to cook red lentils is to follow the instructions on the back of the bag from Trader Joe’s.
Time to Prepare: about 30-45 min
- 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- Heat oil in a pan with tall sides.
- Add lentils, toast for 2-3 min
- Add broth and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 min or until the lentils are tender but not soup-y.
- When the lentils are almost done (after about 8 min) add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
- Cook tomato sauce on the stove for about 5 min., or until it’s hot
- Divide Spinach onto two serving dishes
- Top with lentils and then tomato sauce
Passover has been over for a while now, and if you’re like me, you need to figure out what to do with all that extra matzoh, because goodness knows it’s pretty much inedible at this point, but I hate throwing out good food. So try whipping up this gourmet matzoh pizza (I call it gourmet because involves goat cheese, not because it actually involves any hard work). For those of you who don’t have extra matzoh lying around, I’m sure this recipe would work great on a regular pizza crust. This recipe can easily be made vegan by omitting the goat cheese. I apologize, I was really hungry when I made this, so I didn’t manage to get any great pictures before chowing down.
Prep time: about 10-15 min.
Cook time: about 10 min.
Serves: 1 (recipe can be easily doubled, tripled etc. to serve many)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (depending on our garlic tolerance)
- 2.5 cups kale, not packed down, stems removed
- 1 piece whole-wheat matzoh
- Tomato sauce of your choice
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese
- medium handful of canned and pitted black olives, halved
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic. Put on low.
- While the garlic is heating, place the kale in a bowl and message it. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT! Often, people only massage kale if they’re eating it raw, but I find that it really improves the taste when you cook it. To massage the kale: place it in a bowl, and push it, just as if you were giving it a back massage. After about 2 min., the kale should be a darker green, fragrant, and a bit less tough.
- Once the garlic has just started to brown (about 2-3 min.) add the kale
- Cook kale until it wilts (about 5 min.)
- While the kale is cooking, lay out the matzoh on a cookie sheet. Spread tomato sauce evenly over the matzoh.
- Use your fingers to break up goat-cheese into clumps, and spread semi-evenly around the pizza.
- Add cooked kale to the matzoh.
- Top the pizza with olives.
11. Bake for 10 min., or until the kale becomes dark and crispy
Note: the goat cheese will not really melt, it will just get nice and warm. I think the heterogeneity of the spread of goat cheese adds to the charm of this dish.
Happy Belated Passover :).
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzos) are a killer combo of healthy, versatile, and delicious. This quick ‘n easy weeknight dinner will liven up any plate with the wonderful, classic combination of lemon and rosemary. You can easily adapt it to any combination of spices you have lying around (one of my favorites is paprika and garlic).
Time to Prepare: about 15 minutes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can chickpeas
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 wedges) + more to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- salt (to taste)
- Drain and rinse chickpeas until the foamy stuff at the top is all gone. This serves 2 purposes: it helps remove excess sodium and it helps you fart less. I could be wrong about this, but my mom always told me that the foamy stuff on the beans is what makes you fart. It seems to work for me, in any case.
- Heat oil in a medium to large skillet.
- Add chickpeas
- Add lemon and rosemary
- Cook until the chickpeas are hot, about 7-10 minutes. Then remove a chickpea for tasting and add lemon, rosemary and salt as needed. I recommend waiting to this point to add salt because the flavors can change slightly during the cooking process.
- Eat. I recommend removing the chickpeas from the pan first, but I understand this is not always a possibility. I take no responsibility if you burn yourself by eating them directly of of the pan.
The other night I was craving pasta in white wine sauce, but I was also craving something creamy. After perusing the internet, I decided to add a few tablespoons of yogurt to my pasta dish. The result was surprisingly good. The creamy and tartness of the sauce beautifully compliments the texture of the whole wheat pasta and the red pepper flakes add just the right amount of bite.
I used creamy European style yogurt for this dish because that’s what I had on hand. Probably any unsweetened yogurt will work.
Time to make: about 30 min.
- 1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small/medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic (or more), minced
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
- 8 tablespoons non-fat plain creamy European style yogurt
- 2 teaspoons Italian spice
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1-2 teaspoons roasted red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you like)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil in a large, flat-bottomed pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Add yellow squash. Cook for 5 minutes or until squash is warmed through.
- Add white wine and peas, cover, and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until peas are thawed and hot.
- Add tomatoes and spices. Cook until the mixture is warmed through, about 3-5 min.
- Add sauce to pasta.
- Add yogurt and toss.
- If desired, garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Nommy nommy veggies!
This recipe is still needs some tweaking, but I’m too excited not to share it. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.