Friday, May 20, 2016

Salad club: ranch peppercorn salad

There's nothing overly special about any of this week's ingredients. But the salad is colorful and it just tastes good! 

In the jar from bottom to top:
Peppercorn ranch dressing
Sweet peppers
Dry salami
Mixed greens
Swiss cheese
Fresh cracked pepper


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Garlic mustard pesto.

You can see it growing alongside pretty much any given roadway right now. It's called garlic mustard. A knee to thigh high plant with tiny white flowers at its top. You might even have some growing in your yard or garden. Pull it out!

While it is pretty, the problem is that it's invasive. Just one garlic mustard plant produces hundreds of seeds. And it's taking over!

The good news is that it comes out easily and you can eat it!

Here's a recipe I came up with along with some inspiration from Chef Marianne Miller of the Saga Hill Cooking School.

Garlic mustard pesto:
  • Lots of garlic mustard leaves, removed from stem (Not the flowers)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Thoroughly wash and dry the garlic mustard leaves. (Be sure the plants you pick for eating have not been sprayed with pesticides.) the leaves remove easily and similar to de-stemming kale or chard. Lightly grasp the top of the stem just beneath the flower. Run your fingers down the stem to remove the leaves. 

Add the leaves and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor. Before mixing, the food processor should be filled with leaves to the max fill line. Pulse until mixture is smooth but not uniform. You can't go wrong here so feel free to not measure. Add more olive oil if you would like the pesto thinner, leave some out if you'd like it to have a thicker consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

That's it! It's done! You can serve it just like you would a basil pesto. Spread it on grilled bread. Serve with pasta and parmesan cheese. Swirl it into your favorite hummus.

And get crazy with the ingredients too. Add some grated parmesan or sun dried tomatoes. Throw in some lime and cumin. Switch out the sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds or pine nuts. The list is endless. Have fun and enjoy!

And side note: Help spread the word about this invasive plant that needs to be pulled out! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Spaghetti Pie, my first attempt

Let me start out by saying I'm so not a recipe follower. I like to throw things together and hope for the best. This time it worked! 

I've never made spaghetti pie but I saw it on Facebook from the Today show and it looked design so what the heck... Let's try it.

My so-called recipe for spaghetti pie:
3/4 pound spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente and drained well
2 large or 3 smaller eggs, whisked
3/4 jar marinara sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan 
4 oz. whipped cream cheese
1 can mushrooms, sliced
Italian seasoning
1/2 large onion, diced
1 pound pork sausage
4 to 6 oz. shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
Sprinkle of Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 and cook noodles according to pal age directions.

Brown onion and sausage in a pan until cooked through and browned. Meanwhile in a LARGE bowl add eggs, marinara, Parmesan, cream cheese and mushrooms. Stir to combine, breaking up any large chunks of cream cheese. Drain excess fat from sausage and onion mixture and add to bowl. Stir to combine. Add noodles and toss to combine.

Pour or spoon mixture into a greased springform pan. Top with shredded cheese and herbs.

Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is browned. Remove from oven and let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pie from the pan, cut and serve! Some extra marinara might be a good idea to have on the plate. 


Kare salad club: Sweet and savory

I LOVE my salad club more than almost anything else in my work day. Here's how it works:

There are six members of salad club. We each have a day assigned to us. My day is Thursday. Every Thursday I being six mason jar salads, one for each member. Every other weekday I don't have to bring anything but there's a salad waiting for me in the fridge! So I get lunch everyday but I only have to think about it once a week. Genius!

And because there are six members and only five weekdays we rotate a bye week. Another genius move.

We've been a club for several months now and I have yet to eat a salad I didn't like. And we've yet to have any problems with logistics.

I seriously encourage you to start up a salad club at your work!

My tactic for deciding what to make is jaunt to stroll grouch the market and see what looks good. This is what caught my eye this week:

Sweet and savory salad:
Poppyseed dressing
Fresh sweet corn, cut from the cob but left raw
Cantaloupe, cut into bite sized pieces
Goji berries
Garlic and herb goat cheese
Mixed greens
Pea shoots (that I grew myself! 👏🏻)


Monday, May 9, 2016

Kitchen sink pasta salad

I love sweets and creamy, full fat food, don't get me wrong. I want caramel rolls and creme brûlée on the table just as much as the next girl. But in my family I'm also usually the one pushing to have at least one healthy dish on the table. Bonus points if it's a vegetable! 

So when grilling out for Mother's Day meant brats and potato salad and my mom's signature dish, beans Janeen, I ipted for add a pasta salad loaded with veggies to the table. 

My style of cooking involves a process that goes something like this: What do I have in the fridge? What do I have in the pantry? Okay let's make something out of that. Here's what I ended up with:

Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad
1 pound pasta, cooked and rinsed
5 carrots, shredded
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 red onion, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
Handful of green olives, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
20-30 pepperoni slices, chopped
1 bottle ceaser vinaigrette

Plop it all in a bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Easy peasy, healthy and very yummy!