Salads

Precious, fleeting

March 15, 2011

Roasted Pear Salad

I started writing this post last week, describing a shopping trip and trying on clothes and the gloom that followed when I realized it would likely be socially unacceptable to wear maternity jeans for the rest of my life. And I commented on what a coincidence it was that the recipe included pears, an ingredient that reflected the current state of my hips.

But all of that loathing seemed even more self-absorbed given the tragic events of this past weekend.

I was reminded of how precious life is, and hugged Kyle and Caleb a little tighter. We are together today.

I was reminded of how fleeting life is, and was sure to tell my mom I loved her before hanging up the phone. I know where my loved ones are today.

I was reminded of how fortunate I am, to have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my fridge. So many are going without today.

And I was reminded that reminders about the fragility of life should not only occur when heartbreaking misfortune happens to others, thousands of miles away. I am grateful for the life I’ve had and have today.

I’ve come across this list of simple ways you can support Japan, if you’re looking for ways to help. Or purchase this neat poster or this t-shirt and 100% of proceeds will be donated to relief efforts.

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Can you bring that bean salad?

August 11, 2010

Mixed Bean Salad with Sundried Tomatoes

I’m sorta sick of this bean salad, but I’m taking that as a good sign because I received more requests for this side dish than any other this cookout season. So apparently I am very skilled at opening five cans of beans and tossing them with sliced sundried tomatoes, slivered red onions, fresh basil and a super simple vinaigrette. Wish I could boast that this oft-requested recipe was extremely complicated and required some advanced cooking skills, but that would be a complete and utter lie. I can’t lie. I turn red and cry. Plus, complicated food is not really my style.
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One pot shop

April 30, 2010

Potsticker Salad with Snap Peas

I did not make these potstickers from scratch. I’m sure they’d be delicious, but that’s not a project for a Thursday evening around 7:00 when you’re finally getting around to dinner and tempted to gnaw off an arm. No, these here were frozen potstickers. And let me tell you, they make for the easiest, quickest, whaaa-dinner’s-ready-already? weeknight meal. Plus, the recipe requires ONE pot. Glorious! And it’s ready in under 20 minutes. No joke. Have I sold you on this yet?

We both happily munched and crunched and mmmmm-ed our way through this. Kyle, twice. Love a man who likes his vegetables.

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It’s the little things

April 17, 2010

Marinated Cremini Mushrooms

It doesn’t take much to make me really happy. A clean kitchen (heck, an empty dishwasher and sink will do it). Shoes that fit perfectly (I have terrible feet, you see). Discovering a forgotten pair of jeans (that I actually like) in the back of my closet. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee before I’ve really woken up (coupled with an errand-free Saturday morning is perfection). Swiffer dry cloths (if you have wood floors you know why). The high after a long run. A near empty peanut butter jar and a spoon. A glass of really good red wine after a really long week. The TV to myself along with a TiVo queue full of Project Runway and Chopped. The first open window drive home of the season. The way my hair looks and feels after a haircut (how do they make it so shiny?). And appetizers that don’t take much effort, like these here marinated cremini mushrooms. They make me happy, they do.

Is it just me, or does anyone else struggle with appetizers? When it comes to entertaining I am always at a loss for pre-dinner noshes, wrapped up in planning the main dishes and dessert, distracted with deciding which serving platters and bowls to use and focused on all of the other necessary logistics (Are there enough wineglasses, did I hang a fresh towel in the bathroom, did I remember to put on deodorant. You know, the usual). We tend to keep things simple. One main “thing”, like a cheeseboard, and a few supporting “things”. But sometimes the supporting “things” require a lot of last minute time and energy that I lack to wrap, stack, toast, roll or stuff. So stumbling upon appetizer recipes that require very little effort and less than 20 minutes of my time, and should be made hours, a day even, in advance makes me really happy. Like I said, it doesn’t take much.
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A detox of sorts

April 9, 2010

Orzo with Roasted Broccolini and Parsley Vinaigrette

I’m not too fond of detox diets and cleanses. Strike that. I scorn detox diets and cleanses. At least those which require days of lemon water, vegetable broth and carrot sticks or special potions consisting of maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I get crabby just thinking about not eating real food. It kind of makes me want a cheeseburger. So without getting too heated about it here (I love a juicy fad diet debate) I’ll politely tell you to blow off those detox diet claims and click past the “healthy” cleanse formula infomercials. I guarantee that bikini-clad spokes-model would not have the energy to happily prance down the beach on a diet of water and acai berry extract. I’m just sayin’.

Anyways, should you come to me looking for advice about a detox diet I will gladly give you the run down. Eat real food – good food, drink plenty of water and move your body. Groundbreaking, isn’t it? Detox can be healthy if it means you’re filling up on whole foods and abstaining from the white stuff (I’m talking sugar and white flour) and alcohol. I’ll be honest, following this past holiday weekend I was in need of a “detox”. I had my fill of Cadbury Cream Eggs (oh yes, the dietitian did just say she eats these), ham, scalloped potatoes and vino. My body was craving green. My body demanded broccolini.  
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