spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho

whelp, here we are smack dab in the middle of summer.

 

I I hope y’all had a fun  and safe holiday weekend.  Mine was a welcomed quiet time.  After a little bit of long overdue retail therapy, I found myself craving gazpacho .

I dug out my Original gazpacho recipe

as well as my Roasted veggie gazpacho

and kinda played around and came up with

spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho 

it’s similar to my roasted veggie one, but I played around with the flavors just a bit

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Spicy gazpacho ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut oil

4 Roma tomatoes

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 sweet white onion, peeled and quartered

1 habanero pepper

1 red bell pepper, halved

1 garlic cloves, not peeled

1 lime, halved

small bunch each of flat leaf parsley and dill

1 can of whole tomatoes ( I used some I canned last summer.  Buy the best tomatoes that you can find. Where this isn’t cooked  you want the best tomato flavor that you can get.  San Marzano is a great choice)

1/4 cup good Olive oil ( same reason as the tomatoes)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

sea salt, white pepper, freshly cracked black pepper

 

place  cukes, salt, pepper and white pepper in a high speed blender and let sit.  The salt will start to draw the moisture out of the cucumber, making for a smooth base since the cukes will have started to break down.  Alternatively, you can use a food processor if you don’t have a high speed blender, you’ll just have to make the soup in batches.

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Preheat grill to medium  heat.  Place an oven safe stoneware dish on the grill with the coconut oil . Season with salt and pepper and coconut oil will melt. Remove from heat and place veggies on the grill using  a basting brush, brush the coconut oil mixture atop veggies

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Flip the veggies after a few min and brush other side with oil mixture

Note~ each vegetable will cook at its own pace. Here, my tomatoes and habanero cooked first.  Once you see the carmalization ( those black lines are the sugars condensing and imparting a deeper flavor than raw vegatables). Transfer veggies to a plate .

 

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Now, let’s build this!

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Place the grilled veggies on top of the cucumbers. Add dill and parsley.

 

Purty, eh?

 

Next add the canned tomatoes with their juice

 

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a handful of ice cubes.

Blend. ( or process in batches if using a food processor )

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I had to use my food pusher to get it started.  If you don’t have one, take a break every few seconds and use a spatula to free up the veggies until they move freely

 

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Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Squirt lime juice in as well.

Taste for salt and pepper.

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Let sit covered in fridge for at least an hour ( if you can 😜)

 

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You guys.  This soup is incredible! I started by only added 1/2 of the habanero, but found that I still wanted it spicier, so I ended up using the whole thing.  Start will small amount of pepper and add what tastes right for your level of heat.

 

I served it with a bit of Mexican crema, ( you can sub sour cream ) a bot of balsamic vinegar and lime juice

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Enjoy !

 

 

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curried tofu & edamame soup

good afternoon, friends!

I have some exciting news to share!

As of yesterday, I am part of Whole Foods Market‘s social media ambassador program, Whole Foodies!

I’ve been looking for something like this for awhile, and the timing is right and I am thrilled!

What does this mean for you? It means that I’ll be trying  new products and receiving samples that I’ll review and pass on to you!

I also will be sponsoring a few upcoming giveaways as a way to celebrate!

:barefoot girl throwing confetti in her kitchen👣:

Today’s recipe is quite fitting, considering it’s Monday and so many have adopted the practice of meatless Monday.

Plus.. Well, it’s really quick and oh-so-tasty

curried tofu & edamamme soup 

1 block of tofu, pressed ***

1 tbsp sweet curry powder

1/2 cup edamamme, shelled

1 can coconut milk

1 jalapeño pepper

1/2 red bell pepper

1 cup Chicken stock 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Cilantro and lemon or lime for garnish

Toasted tortilla chips to serve with . 

  

Start by crumbling the tofu and tossing with the curry.  Let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop peppers, removing seeds and ribs.

Heat coconut oil over medium heat and add tofu. Sauté for 5 minutes , stirring often ( you are essentially toasting the curry, giving it a deeper flavor.

Add peppers and edamamme and stir. Let cook 5 more minutes.

Add coconut milk and stock. Season with sea salt ( double check that your curry does not contain salt. If it does, the taste before adding additional salt )

Bring to a slow simmer and let cook about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the tortilla chips.

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut 1 small corn tortilla into wedges. Place on non-stick cookie sheet or parchment paper.   Sprinkle with a little bit of water and top with a bit of sea salt

Toast for about 3 minutes, then flip and toast an additional 3   

 

Serve with chopped cilantro ( parsley if you don’t like cilantro ) a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and tortilla chips

Wanna see it closer?

This little bowl has some incredible flavor 🙂

Stay tuned…  Tomorrow’s recipe is out of this WORLD! 

 

***. If you cook with tofu, I highly recommend a tofu press.  What you save in paper towel will easily help pay for it..   Many people say they don’t like tofu, when in fact it was probably not prepared properly.  You NEED to press the water out of it. Tofu will take on the flavor of whatever you add to it.  Properly pressed and prepared tofu should have a texture similar to buffalo mozzarella cheese.

Similar recipes

smoked tofu tacos with chipotle-lime sauce

Ethiopian-spiced coconut tofu bowls 

turkey-stuffed peppers with dried cranberries,pine nuts and feta

today’s recipe comes to you courtesy of a still rainy day and a trip to the store that had me wandering and tapping into my inner rumbly tumbly. 

It all started when I saw watermelon on sale…  And where there’s watermelon,there’s feta. And since I was buying the feta, I decided to include it in my stuffed peppers.  A quick look around the kitchen when I got home, and voila! 

Turkey-Stuffed peppers with dried cranberries, pine nuts and feta 

1 pound ground turkey breast 

1 cup cooked whole grain rice 

1/2 cup dried cranberries 

1/4 cup red wine 

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1/4 cup pine nuts ( you could sub a less expensive nut, maybe walnuts? I just happened to have these in my fridge ) 

3 peppers 

Big handful of flat leaf parsley 

1 large egg 

A few gratings of nutmeg 

1tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground ginger 

  

Start my charring your peppers.   Simply place over a gas fire or under the broiler. You can skip this step, but I really think it adds flavor.  Using tongs, careful place on cutting board allowing to cool. 

  

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in small cast skillet over medium heat.  Watch carefully..  They burn quickly. 

Pour wine over cranberries and heat up either in small pot on  the stove or in the microwaves. This reconstitutes them and add tons of flavor 

When peppers are cool enough to handle, slice in half and remove seeds. Place peppers in a lightly oiled baking dish . 

Chop parsley fine and mix with turkey, egg, rice,pine nuts, feta, cranberries ( with juice) and spices,  season with salt and pepper. 

Divide mixture into 6 portions and carefully stuff each pepper . 

  

Cover with foil and bake at 350 until internal temp is 165. Remove foil, sprinkle with a bit more feta and let cook an additional 5 minutes.  

Serve alongside a salad! 

  

A balsamic glazed like I used in Goat cheese and beet salad would have been perfect as a drizzle on top, but I was surprisingly out of balsamic vinegar!   Must buy some soon! 

Other stuffed recipes 

Pork stuffed peppers with raisins and pine nuts

Caprese- stuffed tomatoes

Lightened up cabbage rolls

Chicken sausage stuffed peppers

simple refrigerator pickles

simple. that is the key here.

have a cutting board?

have a knife?

have a pretty jar?

cool. Then let’s GO!

IMG_0561start by washing your jar with hot soapy water and air dry.

On a stove top, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 1/4 cup water and 1 tsp Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

let cool.

Start slicing your veggies.

place a layer of cucumbers in your jar,  layer a big slice of red onion, a hot pepper sliced ( poke seeds out of center to make ‘rings’)

sprinkle some kosher salt, a few black peppercorns, a few mustard seeds, peeled garlic cloves, and dill sprigs.
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Repeat.

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make as many layers as you’d like.. I went with 3.

Add 2 cups of white vinegar to water/ sugar mixture and pour over veggies.

using the bottom of a wooden spoon push veggie layers into liquid.

I had about 1/2 inch of veggies that would not submerge, but with in a few hours the veggies softened and I was able to submerge all of them. If you have more room than that, add a little more vinegar.

Cover and refrigerate.

that’t it!

these are simple and tasty and are PERFECT to make ahead . I made these for Ali’s graduation party and they were a hit. ( more recipes from the party coming soon! )

and since we moved less that 5 days later, I sent the leftovers home with 2 of my good friends and rumor has it that they are STILL snacking on them!

so you should make these. and impress yourself.

I did 🙂

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want more cucumber recipes?

check out chilled cucumber soup

and cucumber salad

and panzanella salad

and cucumber martinis

hmm… that last one just gave me an excellent  idea 😉

‘night friends 🙂

I’m almost embarrassed to post this..

almost.

hiya friends.

today what I have for you I cannot really call it a recipe. at all. in fact, I don;t know what to call it other than genius.

I can do that, it’ my blog and my happy place and I make the rules and I called it.

🙂 🙂 🙂

You know when you stumble across an idea and it’s like, ” duh? self, what exactly took you soooo long to think about this?

like last summer when I made watermelon cubes.

https://barefootgirlinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/watermelon-times-three/

insanely. awesome.

Ok.. let’s backtrack a little bit, I love to tell a story. Pull up a chair. grab your blankies.

When I was visiting my sister last month we had a day ( my niece’s graduation party day) that we were running 10,000 errrands and although we stopped to get tea, I a;ll of a sudden got one of those

out-of-the-blue-oh-my-God-I -need-to eat-RIGHT NOW kinda feelings.

I know you know what I’m talking about 😉

She happened to have a protein shake in her backseat ( that girl is always prepared ) and although I like to ‘eat’ my meals, it was actually pretty good and did a great job of quieting the beast that is can be my stomach.

So fast forward. It’s Thursday of last week, and I’m picking up a prescription from Target ( which has an excellent prescription rewards plan, BTW.. every 5 scripts and you get a 5% coupon for one whole day at Target!!)

and there’s a problem with the script… so after calling the doctor, we fixed it but I was going to have to sit there for 30 minutes. Bored and alone.

and guess who came to visit? That nasty hunger beast again.

remembering That it did the job when I was with my sister, I picked up a 4 pack and managed though the next 1/2 hour ( without wandering the store and loading up my cart with Target stuff…. now this I KNOW y’all know what I’m talkin’ about.

The flavor that I had at my sister’s was strawberry. Because I’m all into ‘livin’ on the edge lately’, I bought chocolate fudge.

Imageand discovered that it tastes *just* like* a * fudgscicle!

* show of hands who knows where I’m going with this *

yup! straight to the freezer!

Imagenow does this taste exactly like a full fat fudgsicle?

probably not, after all, this isn’t Oz..

but it was a pretty good replica.. and the perfect snack after a walk ( or run, bikeride, yoga..)

high protein, and cold and refreshing.

so that’s what I have for you today 🙂

If you are friends with me on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pages/barefootgirl-in-the-kitchen/247408031957513?ref=hl

then you know about the psuedo- chopped challenge that I”m doing (for fun only)

this week’s ingredients are

zucchini

quinoa

hot peppers

and chicken breast.

If this turns out o be as fun as I hope it will be , next week I will have anyone who wants to suggest a food give me one item each. I will but them into a hat and randomly pick 4.

let’s see how this first challenge goes…

and if you missed the details on the challenge, just search barefootigirl in the kitchen on facebook!

ciao bellas!

for more frozen treats

pina colada freezer pops

watermelon ice cubes

creamy roasted onion & red pepper sauce.

well, there you have it, friends.. Ryan picked the winner 🙂

I should have added that we both thought that the other 2 finalists deserved to be there as well, We were just happy with the winner & very excited to see her new show!

Before I share my recipe I just had something else to ramble about.  Since we have known about the move there have been signs and connections everywhere.. things that we would not have noticed before. I now call it the Boston- Denver connection. It’s crazy how this has affected us.

everything from Our tour guide at PC last summer being from Fort Collins , Co, to another school where we sat next to a family form Denver and another family from Portland ,Oregon ( where Ry goes to school) To a man on cape cod from CO being bit by a shark last summer

I know far fetched, but everywhere we turned, there were connections.

I know… ramble, ramble, ramble…

Ryan and I have been watching Food Truck wars on food network.  ( season from 2011.. found it on demand)

Well about the 3rd or 4th city, they came to Denver.

needless to say, I was stoked to see this episode.

And it did not disappoint.

One of the food trucks was from Boston ( a grilled cheese truck.. YUM!)

I was very excited to hear name drops of local places throughout this episode.

At one point the Boston truck went to a park to set up at a park. THE  park that I live right around the corner from!!!!  I was sooo excited to see this ( and REALLY wished that I had been here for that )

I swear I was like a little kid watching this 😉

So until you can come to visit me ( and you should ~ I have room and would spoil you 😉 ) If you have access to on demand food network, and you can find the episode, about halfway through, you can see footage of Washington park.

Ok.. ramble over

now.. for a tasty sauceImage

1 pepper, roasted ( you can used a jarred one, but roasting is FUN! )

1 TBSP roasted garlic *

1/2 onion, thick sliced

1/4 bunch cilantro

leaves from 1 sprig of thyme

1/4 cup olive oil

1 TSBP balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup low fat cream cheese

 

( did not use the hatch pepper in the picture in this recipe)

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To roast your pepper, just place over a fire source.  I used my burner, but a grill outside would be fine, as would and open campfire.

Allow to get black, rotating with tongs.

When sufficient blackage has occurred, remove and place in a paper bag and seal tightly. ( this allows it to steam and the skin to become loose. ) If using jarred  peppers, eliminate these steps.

 

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Brush the onion slices with olive oil & season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until onions are soft.  Set aside.

To roast garlic, , take a whole bulb and cut the top off. Place on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil . Place on grill for 20-25 minutes or until garlic gets soft  ( alternatively, you could cook onions and garlic in the oven like I did HERE )

 

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when garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the bulbs onto a cutting board and using the side of a chef’s knife, press into a paste

 

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for this recipe we only needed about a tablespoon, but this yummy goodness will keep for a few days, and I have another recipe this week that you will want roasted garlic for, so get down with your bad self and roast the whole darn thing !

 

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next, add all ingredients except for the cream cheese to a blender and blend.

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pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir to melt

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I used this sauce as a topper for a fajita- kinda taco using THIS recipe.

 

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just look at this sauce…

 

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so much flavor in a tiny bowl….  And FYI, I did have a little bit left over and it made an excellent dip with veggies the next day 🙂

 

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thanks for reading.. and let me know if you make this.. I’d love to hear your feedback 🙂

stuffed peppers with raisins and pine nuts

good afternoon, friends!  I apologize for those whose email I blew up this morning by re-posting links from my weebly site.

 

I tried very hard to import all of the posts over to here with no success 😦  Someday I will hire someone to do it for me ( I really want everything in one place, for many reasons) and the issues that I was previously having with wordpress seem to have been resolved.

 

on the bright side, I  set up and instagram account 🙂

 

I know… blah, blah, blah. we want FOOD!

 

Kewl..  here’s what i have for you today…. you all know about my infatuation with Hatch peppers that I wrote about earlier this week.  It turns out that it’s kind of a regional thing.  My friends from facebook knew all about them. Apparently they are a big deal, and I just happened to stumble across them!

more on regional foods soon…. today I give you my stuffed pepper recipe

Growing up my mom made stuffed peppers alot. yum!  My recipe is a bit different than hers, because I basically cook everything first, then just heat before serving.

 

3-6 peppers

1 pound lean ground pork

1 can of tomatoes

1/4 cup of tomato sauce

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup raisins ( I used golden)

1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cumin

About a cup of chicken broth

1-2 cups of cooked rice, or other grain

1/2 cup cheese of your choice

 

 

I also use it as a way to clean out the fridge!

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Start by sauteeing about a pound of ground pork ( I used extra- lean) . Season with salt and pepper. Remove pork form pan and set aside.

 

 

Add a drizzle of oil oil and add 1 onion, chopped  over medium heat.  When onions are translucent, add 2 garlic cloves, smashed. Stir and add a can of tomatoes ( I used Fire- roasted, use what you like.  )

IMG_0504The add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a teaspoon of  ground cumin, a dash ( or more if you like) of chipotle seasoning.

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Mix the pork back in and add about a cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer while flavors develop.

 

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. shake continuously. ( Nuts can burn in a nano-second.. trust me on this)

 

toss with Raisins

 

Here is where cleaning out the fridge comes in handy.  I had some leftover lentils ( which I LOVE) and some leftover rice. So I made 2 different peppers.

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half the batch   with lentils

 

 

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and half the batch  with rice

Toss in some cheese ( I used ricotta salata, use what you have 🙂

 

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set aside

 

Next, rinse and halve your peppers ( use rubber glove if they are hot) and scoop out membranes & seeds

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place in a baking dish with a little bit  of reserved tomato sauce

 

and start filling dem peppers!

 

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top with a little bit of cheese ( and sauce if you have any left) and bake at 350 until peppers are warm and cheese is melted.

 

IMG_0512serve with sauce on the side.

 

now I know these look kinda messy.. but that’s because I was trying to fill tiny peppers.  If you use a bigger pepper, say a red bell, or green bell, it will  be much neater.

 

Regardless of how it looks, it’s tasted great.

 

Don’t let the idea of the raisins & cinnamon deter you from making this recipe. The flavor combo is amazing.

 

have fun in the kitchen!

 

Have I made you hungry yet ??

 

oxox

a perfect week night meal

hi friends.

how have you been?  tough week for me, but I’m rallying thanks to some awesome family & friends 🙂

 

Ya wants a recipe? cool beans… I have one for you 😉

 

A few weeks ago I posted THIS quiche recipe. And truly, it’s awesome. It’s decadent. It’s worthy of my Easter table.

 

Let’s face it .. ANYTHING with pie crust is worthy. Yes? yes.

Which is why the recipe that I have to share with you tonight ( although still worthy of my Easter table) is just a little bit  easier to fit into a week night dinner line-up…  there is no crust 😉 Really? Really.

 

this recipe is thanks to my mother-in- law. She shared this with me when we were first married, and 10,000 years later, I still make it.

 

MANY years ago( like 165) when Scott and I were first married we had almost no money. He was in school still and I was a hairdresser and I picked up a shift or two waitressing when I could. Our grocery money was whatever I had earned in tips that week.. good or bad.. It’s what we lived with. Most weeks our budget ( for the 3 of us) was in the $30 range.

 

Ramen was good…. Boxed Mac & cheese was good. store brand spaghetti and jarred sauce were our friends.

I remember once, we bought a huge jug of peach wine. That just lasted us almost a year… ( who WERE we?) oh yeah… young and poor 😉

 

Funny thing is, the jug of wine came in a box  and I still havet that box… Scott’s Dungeons and Dragons stuff is still in there.

 

You think I’m kidding?

I could make this up if I tried.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:6]

 

 

I did not use pepperoni in this quiche… I used broccoli & red pepper… and garlic gold in place of garlic salt

 

 

a sprinkle of salt and pepper 🙂

 

 

 

 

pour mixture, then top with a bit of extra cheese

 

cheese is good. I called it.

 

 

I. KNOW!  RIGHT???  yum!!!!

 

so there ya have it folks…. inexpensive, quick and easy….

 

as the kids got older, I found myself throughout the week chopping up extra veggies each night ans saving them so that whatever night I made the quiche, I would pull out all of the veggies & they could ‘ make their own’ pie.

 

 

one last note.. since I brought up the D& D stuff I have to share that he actually took me on a date once to play D&D.

 

who was  I??

 

much love, friends…

 

oh one last thing.. if you follow me on Fb then you already know that Celia is the winner of the dryer balls.   I’m loving rafflecopter.  IT keeps track of all entries and is completely auto mated when it picks a winner….  That will make it easier for me to give ya’ll more stuff 🙂

 

 

xoxooxox

veggie chili

Friends.

I’ve hesitated.

I have a veggie chili recipe that I have pretty much been making for years. And I love it. but  I have a really good friend who is sort of a chili making champion.  She lives in Texas and they take their chili VERY seriously.  IN fact.. I have had the pleasure of tasting her chili… it truly is out of this world… You should  can visit her at River Cat Chili.

She is just back form a very big chili challenge that I’m sure she will be telling us all about soon.. and I have seen some of the pics.. and trust me… you wont want to miss this.

Sharing my measly chili recipe has had me intimidated.  But today… I feel strong.  I am going for it!

So the other day I defrosted chicken and had to decide what to make for dinner. Given the fact that I had more then just 2 to cook for, I needed to get creative.

This is my favorite way to cook. I have always said that if I were ever lucky enough to have a cooking show.. that this would be my ‘spin’

Open the fridge… take inventory… combine with pantry items and come up with 3 possible ideas.. and make one.

Which is exact-a-lacktaly what I did.

so what did I come up with? my veggie chili .. cooking the chicken on the side for those who wanted it. It was perfect.

I started by chopping the veggies and adding all but he garlic to a pan heated with oil

season with salt and pepper ( avoid salting the mushrooms)  and let everyone get a nice little crust.

after about 5 minutes, add the garlic, stir together, turn heat off, add wine to deglaze.

Turn the heat back on… once the wine has evaporated add some veggie stock and jarred tomatoes ( these were second to the last batch from last summer.. *snif*)

Let the chili come to a boil, then reduce and let simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in beans. ( I used beans that I had made in the crock pot and froze.. just because I go throught them so fast, but feel free to use canned)

For the chicken, I cubed it.. tossed it in spices and sauted in oil over med high heat.  Then added chicken broth to deglaze , covered and let simmer until  chicken had reached 165.

At the last minute, stir in some chopped cilantro or Parsley…  I served it with the chipotle cream sauce and it was perfect. ( I added the cooked chicken on top of those who wanted the chicken.

This is easy, healthy and yummy 😉  I finished the rest of it for lunch today with 1/4 of a chopped avocado and some fresh lime juice. It is a perfect meal for a fall day 🙂

* a note on the ghost pepper salt*

I have recently REALLY gotten into finishing salts. I can thank Ryan for this. I make a few of them myself (Lavender salt, Rosemary salt) but I’m a sucker when come across different flavors.  I am lucky That Ryan goes to school near a fabulous little tea and spice chop.. and every opportunity that I have I visit and he and I try out the different salts.

and sugars

and spices

and teas

We came across this one last weekend.. and although the ghost pepper is UBER hot.. ( bought some powdered ghost pepper this summer…  you only need a spec.. this stuff is strong.) I knew I had to buy it.

I have used this every day. yumm..

it’s awesome. like you!

what am I thankful for today? for you .. my readers…  you make my day.. seriously.. it’s nice having y’all as my bffs 🙂

oxoox[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:4]

banish boring salads

well… maybe not banish but know that there are options out there.

You know how when you got to a restaurant and some of the fancier salads look sooo good… but you have a hard  time shelling out 13 bucks for a salad..

yeah  me too.  Here’s the thing.. you can make these at home!!  Now I know some of you are like, “duh? is she going to seriously walk us through salad making 101?”

yes. Because I have a few friends whose diets have changed and they need to add more fruits and veggies into their diet & want to show the amazing amount options that are out there. If you already know all of this.. I apologize…. just scroll to the bottom to help answer a question about my next giveaway.

WHOA!!! wait.. YOU!… get back up here.. I’m not done yet.

We’ll start with making a dressing….  yes.. making it is super simple.. and there are 17,000 combinations that you can create… just use a basic formula and add the flavors that you like!

you will need

1~ an acid.. either vinegar, lemon or lime juice, wine….  1/8 cup

2~ an oil…. olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil.. coconut oil ( my new FAVORITE! ) 1/4 cup

3~mustard… again… SO many flavors out there… play with it! 1 tsp

4~ honey.. or maple syrup ( the real stuff) or agave…. 1 tsp

5~ (optional) herbs.. fresh or dried… or sesame seeds, or crushed garlic….. 1/2-1 tsp.. depending on how strong you would like ( always start with less then add more)

6~ sea salt and pepper…..  I have a slight salt obsession as well…..  we’ll chat about this later 🙂 remind me if I forget.

simply add everything to a small ball jars

   put the top on the jar and shake….

you just made dressing 🙂

trust me.. you can’t get that out of a bottle…. anywhere.

I don’t like overly dressed salads, so I usually use about a tablespoon per salad.. if you like more, then add more… I mix it with whichever greens I am using so that they are coated, then place in serving bowl… top with toppings…

like the quiche ‘recipe’  ( are you starting to get my method of cooking… it’s always a formula, then playing with ingredients… because I am a firm believer in  play!  <—- please read this post, it’s one of my favorites 🙂

so.. you will want

1~ green of choice… baby spinach, arugula, mesclun, romaine, butter lettuce..

2~ dressing of choice

3~ ( optional.. ) protein of choice… ( chicken, beans, salmon, beef, tofu, edamame.)

4~ other veggies.. just pile them on!

5~ (optional ) cheese

6~ (optional) something for crunch.. croutons, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sliver almonds

7~ (optional) dried cranberries or apricots or mandarin orange wedges

and  you, my dear have just made a killer salad worthy of any restaurant.

here’s your 13 buckaroos back 🙂

This salad  has

baby spinach

basic vinaigrette

topped with edamame ( I used trader Joe’s ).. about 1/2 cup

black beans .. about 1/4 cup

1/4 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup cranberry goat cheese ( if you are vegan, by choice or m=by force, eliminate it…  the avocado give the same mouthfeel… and you probably wont miss it)

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

finish with sea salt and pepper..

I ate this for lunch yesterday and it kept me full all afternoon!  ( and peeps ask me all the time where I get my protein from 🙂  )

so be brave…. look beyond iceburg, cukes and tomatoes ( not that there is anything with it, it’s the only way I can get my kids to eat a salad, so I still make it… ) and have fun!!!!

NEEEEXXXXTTT…

I have fallen in LOVE with Greek Yogurt. Have you tried it yet? I buy the non fat plain and it tastes just like sour cream. I sub it out for sour cream all the time.  It is also a perfect base to make granola parfait but also… to make some ‘creamy’ sauces!  like this

Chipotle cream sauce

I used about 1/2 the can of peppers.. if you like it more mild, use less

about a cup of the Greek Yogurt

half a lime

I put them all in the magic bullet looking thing and blended

if you don’t have one of these babies, you could use a blender, just keep scraping down the sides.. or use a food processor.

that’s it folks… does it get simpler than that? I think not.

The girls had this on their tacos last night & I topped my tostada with it.

the girls’ taco filling is made with lean ground chicken, then when I add the taco seasoning ( only half the package… it’s so loaded with sodium.. a little goes a long way.. you also can make your own, considerably knocking the sodium down, but I had it so I used it) and when I add the water I add a can of refried beans. They blend in perfectly… it stretches the filling and boosts the protein 🙂 I’ve been doing this for years..

It also freezes and defrosts well, so you can make double the amount and have it in the freezer for a super quick dinner…. If you need to cook for one, make a batch and freeze it into individual portions…  again.. quick dinner for one

*if you have dinner for one, please do me a favor and do it by candle light.. you are special and should have a nice dining experience.. if you want you can face time me and we can eat dinner together 😉 *

My filling was chopped mushrooms, sautéed  in oil, then  I mashed some back beans and lime juice in, seasoned with sea salt, cumin & chile powder

I placed it on a small flour tortilla that I heated in my cast iron skillet ( I CANNOT say enough how much I love  cast Iron to cook with)

top with cheese ( if vegan, try the daiya cheese shreds.. it’s very good, melts and stretches like cheese and can be frozen.. It is on the pricey side ( $5 a bag) but it does freeze, and I just pull out what I need when I need it )

the I added avocado.. fresh salsa.. Chipotle cream sauce and some plain Greek yogurt..  YUM!  ( and sooooooo easy )

As far as the rest of the chipotle peppers ( I’ve never had a recipe that I’ve used the whole can ) I take a freezer bag & label it… place in a jar

then press out the air & seal

Whenever I need some for a recipe, or a burst of flavor, I just break a piece off! No waste here.. yo!

so now that I’ve made you hungry… I have a question for all of you.

I have a fun company that has offered for me to give away one of their products.  I have the choice…

1~ 1 big gift for one lucky recipient…

OR

2~ 10 small gifts ( of the same item) so that TEN of you can win….

so whatcha all think? 1 big winner or 10 smaller ones???

smooches friends!!  oxooxo

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