Jun 14, 2010

How To: Summer Salads

The Georgia Pearl Salad - recipe below

It's hot. Really hot. Like too hot to turn on the oven hot. But a gal's gotta eat, right? So open up the fridge, grab some supplies and start adding up your own summer salad... packed with whole grains, cheese and nuts, any combination you come up with will be filling and packed with protein.

Let's do a little Salad Arithmetic, shall we?

Start with a starch (pearl barley, couscous, orzo, rice, bulgur, quinoa)
a vegetable (cucumber, asparagus, spinach, carrot)
a fruit (peaches, mango, grapes, cherries, tomatoes, raisins)
an allium (yellow onion, red onion, scallion, shallot, garlic)
some cheese (feta, mozzarella, blue, parmesan)
a few nuts or seeds (pumpkin, almonds, cashews, sunflower, walnuts, pine nuts)
an herb (basil, dill, mint, parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, cilantro)
a little acid (lemon or lime juice, champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar)
some oil (olive, sesame, hazelnut, grapeseed)
a dash of seasoning (salt, pepper, ground cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, red chili flake, curry)
a delicious & easy Summer Salad!

Some of my favorites...

Jun 9, 2010

Hello Sesame!

By special request...

Here's how I make the world's easiest spicy garlic sesame spinach:

Toast a small palmful of sesame seeds in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat. Keep a close eye on them so they don't scorch. Once they've turned golden brown, remove from heat and set aside. Heat a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and a teaspoon of spicy chili sesame oil in that same nonstick pan over medium heat. Add one clove of thinly sliced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add 3 or 4 big handfuls of spinach leaves (you may have to do it in stages) and turn to coat with oil. Saute over medium heat until spinach has wilted to your liking. Top with reserved sesame seeds and serve with brown rice. Yum.

Jun 1, 2010

DFO: Black Bean + Sweet Potato Chili

This may be one of my favorite things I've made. Like ever. And it's not even that it's particularly complex or sophisticated or even unusual - it's just good. It's quick and filling and, aside from the beer clearly pictured above, I was feeling pretty veggie virtuous while eating it. What else can you ask for on a weeknight?

Dinner For One: Black Bean + Sweet Potato Chili

You know the drill - this makes two servings, tops. But I'm not going to hesitate to quadruple the measurements and make a big pot of it next time I have a crew over. Neither should you. And yes, there are three kinds of chiles in here (i do love a jalapeno), just leave some out if you're a wimp. I mean... if you're not into feeling the burn.

What you need:
half of a large sweet potato, peeled & diced
2 TB olive oil
1 small onion, peeled & chopped
one jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 TB chili powder
.5 TB ground cumin
one 10oz. can Original Rotel diced tomatoes & chilies
one 15oz. can black beans, half of canning liquid drained out
4-5 kale leaves, woody stems removed & leaves sliced thinly
salt & pepper
lime wedges, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapenos, sour cream, corn tortillas (all completely optional)

How you make it:
Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat and cook sweet potato until tender. Drain and set aside.

Separate and set aside a quarter cup of the chopped onion. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté remaining onions and jalapeno (if using) until soft and translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add spices, stir to coat onions and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add Rotel tomatoes, stir to combine and cook 4-5 minutes. Add black beans and kale and cook until kale is wilted and beans are heated through. Add sweet potato, stir gently to combine and reduce heat to low.

Serve topped with reserved onion, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges and toasted corn tortillas as desired.