Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Quinoa Arugula Salad

My sister just bought a house (go Angie!) and was having a little new house gathering to celebrate.  I love bringing healthy and pretty side dishes to parties for a few reasons - it helps to make sure I have a great, filling, healthy option to eat when I'm there, colorful veggies and/or fruits are a beautiful addition to a party food table, and party people tend to enjoy having a delicious dish with familiar ingredients but still something somewhat new they haven't tried before.

Fresh, easy and healthy - multiple people asked for the recipe :)

I mixed the vinaigrette separately and transported in a small glass container.  Once I arrived at my sister's house I gave it a little shake, poured over the salad and everything was ready to enjoy.

 Party time!

Quinoa Arugula Salad

by GreensForMe

  • 1-1/2 C quinoa, or whatever grains you have on hand - I also used a little bit of farro because I had some
  • 1/4 C pine nuts
  • 3 large handfuls of arugula 
  • 1/2 C Feta cheese (I like getting a block and crumbling myself with a fork - I think is cheaper and tastes fresher to me than getting pre-crumbled) 
  • 1/4 C olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar would probably work well) 
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest 
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley (not required, but a nice touch) 
  • salt & pepper
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
Cook your quinoa or grains according to package directions.  Let cool in a bowl.  Toast pine nuts on stovetop in small pan for 5-8 minutes until slightly toasted, and add to bowl.

Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette in small bowl and set aside.

Chop arugula and add to quinoa bowl.  Add crumbled Feta and toss to combine.

Top with the vinaigrette.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Caprese Party Dish

Another farmer's market Sunday morning for me yielded some beautiful plump tomatoes, some peppery arugula and of course some Zeke's coffee :)  It was the day of my grandmother's 90th birthday party.  Grandmam is one incredible lady and I can only hope to one day be as amazing of a woman as she is.  I wanted to bring an easy party dish so decided to make a very shareable style of caprese salad, with some arugula to add some spiciness to the mix.  I've made the skewers of caprese before but this was definitely a more time saving dish to make, and I also strayed from the standard caprese salad of large layers of mozz and tomato to keep things easy to eat while mingling and partying down with Grandmam.

Farmers market heirlooms:

With the Zeke's cameo, so you know these are legit farmers market tomatoes:



Caprese Party Dish

by GreensForMe
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • 8-9 small heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 large handfuls arugula
  • 1 handful basil
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Start by cutting up your mozzarella and your tomatoes into cubes or bite-sized slices.  Roughly chop the arugula and basil.  Place all in a medium sized mixing bowl and drizzle with about 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt & pepper, toss, and place in serving bowl.  Super easy, healthy and perfect for sharing.

Happy 90th, Grandmam!  XOXOXOXOXO

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Zucchini with Roasted Mushrooms & Tomatoes

Hey everybody!  So it's been quite a long while since I've written a blog post.  Howie & I have been trying out a lot of new recipes and techniques in the kitchen and I realized how much I missed sharing my recipes with others.  Over the summer, my Sunday morning routine included browsing the farmer's market (the one under I-83 in Baltimore) sometimes walking around 2 or 3 times before I made my final selections for the day.  This recipe was inspired by the abundant summer zucchini and the gorgeous little pints of cherry tomatoes of all colors and shapes.

My favorite new toy is the veggie spiralizer.  The less I eat pasta (and get the overloaded carb induced sleepies that follow it) the less I want it.  I've found zucchini noodles to be way more satisfying, flavorful and filling in a good way than any pasta I've ever had (although I've never been to Italy - it's on the list!).  Having yet another gadget in the kitchen is not exactly what I thought I wanted, but it's been completely worth it.  I've gotten so much use out of this thing, usually once or twice a week, and it's small enough to store on a kitchen cabinet shelf when not in use.  Sweet potatoes also work great with this to make crispy & curly sweet potato fries.  The dishes I've been able to make are so good that not just me, but also Howie gobble them down, eyeing up seconds each time.  This is the one that we have:

Just look at these guys - once a veggie now a noodle:

Gorgeous farmer's market tomatoes ready to be chopped up and roasted:

Mouth watering veggies ready for the oven:

We served ours with some grilled chicken and topped the veggies with a hearty dollop of goat cheese.  The cheese starts to melt a bit into the veggies as you eat...delish!

Zucchini with Roasted Mushrooms & Tomatoes

by GreensForMe
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pint baby bella or crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced 
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 medium zucchinis
  • 1 tbsp butter (butter from grass fed cows is the best!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • grilled chicken or shrimp, optional
  • goat cheese or parmesan cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium bowl toss the tomatoes, mushrooms and onion and top with about 2 tbsp olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and some salt & pepper.  Give everything a good stir until the veggies are coated and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast for 12-15 minutes, or until tomatoes have burst a bit.

While tomatoes, etc. are roasting, melt some butter into a pan on medium-high heat (love my cast iron) and add garlic to lightly brown.  Spiralize your zucchini right into the pan and use tongs to mix.  Cook your zucchini on medium-high for about 10 minutes, until they soften a little.  I love it when some parts brown up a bit, but zucchini has a lot of liquid so sometimes I've found this hard to accomplish.

Use the tongs to portion zucchini onto plates, top with the tomato mixture and plop a little goat cheese on top if you wish.  Serve with grilled chicken or shrimp if you'd like, but it's really not needed.  This dish stands up very well on its own.  Salud!