Friday, October 18, 2019

Apple Walnut Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette


Today I had the pleasure of visiting a local hydroponic greenhouse (Third Day Produce). The variety of lettuce and the different colors were so beautiful. My clients often ask for salads and it's fun for me to come up with ways to make them exciting. Since it's fall and apples are amazing right now, I decided to top my greens with Honeycrisp apple as well as sweet dried cherries, toasty walnuts and earthy goat cheese. The maple mustard vinaigrette ties everything together with it's lightly sweet and tangy flavor.

For added protein, simply serve pan-seared chicken breasts or salmon on top.



1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Place leafy greens in a large mixing bowl and toss with half of the dressing. Transfer to a large serving bowl.


3. Top the salad with sliced apple, walnuts, cherries and goat cheese. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.



Apple Walnut Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4

All you need:
Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard (or Dijon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 cups leafy greens
1 Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
1/3 cup dried cherries
2 oz. plain goat cheese, crumbled

All you do:
1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Place leafy greens in a large mixing bowl and toss with half of the dressing. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
3. Top the salad with sliced apple, walnuts, cherries and goat cheese. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Butternut Squash Curry


I love curries - especially ones that are chock-full of veggies. This dish is perfect to make at the beginning of the week and enjoy for lunch because it will keep you full until dinner time. And it's a great meal to make for any of your vegan friends or those with food allergies since it's naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.

For added protein, simply add one can of drained chickpeas or 1 block of drained extra-firm or fried tofu (diced).



1. Melt coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butternut squash and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly softened.

2. Add spices and curry paste and stir to combine.


3. Add coconut milk, lime juice and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.


4. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Taste the sauce and season with salt as needed.

5. Scoop rice into serving bowls and ladle curry over. Garnish with a generous amount of crushed peanuts.



Butternut Squash Curry
Serves 6

All you need:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons yellow curry paste (or red curry paste)
2 (13.5 oz.) cans full-fat coconut milk
Juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons honey (or agave nectar)
4 cups baby spinach
Salt, to taste

Jasmine rice, for serving
Crushed dry roasted peanuts, for garnish

All you do:
1. Melt coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butternut squash and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly softened.
2. Add spices and curry paste and stir to combine.
3. Add coconut milk, lime juice and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
4. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Taste the sauce and season with salt as needed.
5. Scoop rice into serving bowls and ladle curry over. Garnish with a generous amount of crushed peanuts.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Smoky Beef and Bean Chili


These picture-perfect fall days are my favorite. The sun is shining, there's a cool breeze and we can start to curl up on the couch with a bowl of warm soup or stew. Chili is one of the best make-ahead meals, because it's great for lunch or dinner and it honestly tastes better the longer it sits. This would be a good go-to recipe for any tailgate party since it's easy to prep and hold warm in a crockpot.

I like to serve mine with corn muffins on the side for dipping. For garnishes, cheddar and onions are obviously great, but I would also recommend Greek yogurt (or sour cream), corn chips, avocado and/or pico de gallo.


1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add red onion and jalapeno and saute for 3 minutes.


2. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 8 minutes, stirring often.


3. Add spices and cook for 1 minute.


4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and beef stock; turn heat to medium-high and bring the chili to a boil.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.


5. Stir in beans. Season the chili with salt, to taste (start with a small amount - you won't need much).


6. Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with cheese and onions.




Smoky Beef and Bean Chili
Serves 8

All you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno, chopped
2 pounds 80% lean beef (I used PRE grass-fed beef)
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 (14.5 oz.) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, with juice
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 cups beef stock (or broth)
1 (16 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Salt, to taste

Grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese and thinly sliced green onion, for garnish

All you do:
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add red onion and jalapeno and saute for 3 minutes.
2. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 8 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add spices and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and beef stock; turn heat to medium-high and bring the chili to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir in beans. Season the chili with salt, to taste (start with a small amount - you won't need much).
6. Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with cheese and onions.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter


Fall is here and that means it's time to for some warm, cozy dishes like gnocchi. This gnocchi recipe is one of my favorites because the sweet potato adds beautiful color and a slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the salty brown butter sauce. 

Serve this with a leafy green salad and a glass of cold, crisp white wine (like sauvignon blanc).



1. Combine sweet potato, ricotta, Parmesan, egg yolks, salt and flour in a large mixing bowl.


2. Dust a work surface with flour and shape the gnocchi dough into a circle; cut into 6 wedges using a bench scraper or knife. Roll each wedge into a log and cut into equally sized squares. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.




3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in two batches, boil the gnocchi into it rises to the top of the water. Drain the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Toss with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking.


4. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Cook until lightly browned, then add fresh lemon juice. Turn heat off and add the cooked gnocchi.



5. Transfer the gnocchi to serving bowls and garnish with walnuts and pomegranate seeds.





Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter
Serves 6-8

All you need:
2 cups mashed sweet potato (from 2 large sweet potatoes)
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)

1 stick salted butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

All you do:
1. Combine sweet potato, ricotta, Parmesan, egg yolks, salt and flour in a large mixing bowl.
2. Dust a work surface with flour and shape the gnocchi dough into a circle; cut into 6 wedges using a bench scraper or knife. Roll each wedge into a log and cut into equally sized squares. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in two batches, boil the gnocchi into it rises to the top of the water. Drain the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Toss with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking.
4. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Cook until lightly browned, then add fresh lemon juice. Turn heat off and add the cooked gnocchi.
5. Transfer the gnocchi to serving bowls and garnish with walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Roasted Broccoli and Chickpea Tacos with Smashed Avocado and Chipotle Crema


Tacos are one of my favorite go-to dinners (I'm sure most of you would agree). But a meatless taco? That might sound strange, but just trust me with these. The roasted broccoli and chickpeas add great flavor and bulk to each taco, leaving you full and satisfied.

These are great on their own, but to round out the meal, add a side of fresh-cut fruit.




1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place broccoli and chickpeas in a large mixing bowl. Add spices and olive oil and toss to combine. Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes. Finish with fresh lemon juice.




3. Meanwhile, smash avocado in a mixing bowl. Add lime juice, jalapeno, garlic powder and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.

4. Place chipotle peppers, sour cream, lime juice and salt in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.


5. Spread smashed avocado onto each tortilla and top with roasted broccoli and chickpeas. Drizzle with chipotle crema and garnish with cheese.






Roasted Broccoli and Chickpea Tacos with Smashed Avocado and Chipotle Crema
Serves 4-5

All you need:
1 (12 oz.) bag broccoli florets
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch kosher salt

2 chipotle peppers in adobo
8 oz. sour cream
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt

10 soft flour tortillas

Shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place broccoli and chickpeas in a large mixing bowl. Add spices and olive oil and toss to combine. Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes. Finish with fresh lemon juice.
3. Meanwhile, smash avocado in a mixing bowl. Add lime juice, jalapeno, garlic powder and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
4. Place chipotle peppers, sour cream, lime juice and salt in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
5. Spread smashed avocado onto each tortilla and top with roasted broccoli and chickpeas. Drizzle with chipotle crema and garnish with cheese.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ratatouille


Ratatouille is a classic end-of-summer dish because it's a wonderful way to use up your garden veggies. It's delicious on it's own, but also pairs well with fish and pasta. It's also makes great leftovers - simply cover the pan and reheat in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or scoop onto plates and microwave for 45 seconds, or until desired temperature. 

Pair this with a bold red wine like Syrah or Rioja.


1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Slice the eggplants, tomatoes, squash and zucchini thinly and set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add basil and remove pan from heat.



4. Arrange sliced veggies on top of the sauce and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.





5. Allow the ratatouille to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle. Right before serving, garnish with basil and parsley.





Ratatouille
Serves 6-8

All you need:
2 small eggplants
3 Roma tomatoes
2 yellow squash
2 zucchini

Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves

Olive oil, for drizzling
Chopped basil and parsley, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Slice the eggplants, tomatoes, squash and zucchini thinly and set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add basil and remove pan from heat.
4. Arrange sliced veggies on top of the sauce and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.
5. Allow the ratatouille to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle. Right before serving, garnish with basil and parsley.