In my recent quest to create a simple summer salsa I relied on three of my favorite foods – sweet potatoes, black beans, and avocados. These foods never disappoint me, no matter what recipe I put them in, so I knew they’d make a fantastic salsa. Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa is a sweet and spicy salsa with vibrant colors and a wonderfully zingy taste. It’s great as an appetizer when served with tortilla chips and crackers, but it’s just as good as a topping for grilled fish, chicken, or pork. The cool, refreshing ingredients scream “summer” but you can easily make this salsa all year-long. (more…)
Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw with Figs, Walnuts, and Crispy Prosciutto was inspired by the popular Blue Cheese Cole Slaw recipe by Ina Garten, a/k/a The Barefoot Contessa. Initially I planned to do a version of this recipe using homemade avocado mayonnaise but when I did a search on Google and Pinterest, I saw that there were already tons of recipes out there for blue cheese cole slaw so I decided to create a broccoli slaw instead and compliment the wonderfully distinct flavor of blue cheese with dried mission figs, toasted walnuts, and crispy prosciutto. There’s no mayonnaise is this slaw; the dressing is made from olive oil, greek yogurt, blue cheese, and parmesan cheese. If you’re a fan of blue cheese you will love this dish! (more…)
The strawberry season is in full swing here in Massachusetts and my family and I have been enjoying its bounty. We are blessed to live within a mile of two “pick you own” strawberry fields and have several other farm stands nearby that are bursting with fresh strawberries this time of year. I always make a point of trying at least one new recipe each year using fresh strawberries, and normally this includes some type of dessert, but strawberries are delicious in salads too, as I discovered when I made Strawberry Chicken Pecan Salad. What makes this salad so exceptional is that it pairs fresh strawberries with other ingredients that highlight its flavor perfectly. Maple syrup intensifies the berry flavor, balsamic vinegar adds a pleasant tartness, and salty feta helps to balance some of the sweetness. The result is a salad where the essence of fresh strawberries really shines through. (more…)
The French have an uncanny ability to make ordinary food taste sublime. Nothing illustrates this point better than Bistro Carrot Salad – a dish of raw carrots that have been grated into short delicate strands, dotted with flecks of fresh chopped parsley, and then tossed in a basic lemon vinaigrette. Grated carrot salads (carottes râpées) are a mainstay at bistros everywhere in France and are so prevalent that French home cooks probably don’t even reference a recipe when making them. (more…)
There are an endless number of ways to make chicken salad, however as with most classic recipes the simplest preparations are often the best. Aside from cooked chicken, all you need to make delicious chicken salad is high quality mayonnaise, lots of crunchy celery, a few scallions, and some seasonings. Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad veers only slightly from this classic preparation. It calls for avocado mayonnaise instead of mayonnaise made with vegetable oil or olive oil, and contains cranberries, walnuts, and orange zest – 3 foods that, on their own provide incredible flavor harmony, but when combined with the other ingredients is this dish make for a chicken salad symphony! (more…)
Americans are becoming more accustomed to bitter flavors, as evidenced by some of the food trends we’ve seen in recent years – extra dark chocolate, bitter greens like arugula and dandelion, and craft beers that are heavy on the hops. If you’ve acquired a taste for foods that lean toward bitter, you’ll want to try Baby Kale and Grapefruit Salad with Campari Vinaigrette. This is a delicious salad with mildly bitter back notes that are nicely balanced by the salty feta and the sugars in the vinegar and candied walnuts. There is only 1 tablespoon of Campari in the vinaigrette but the flavor it imparts is unmistakable.
I recently tried farro for the first time at a local café and was immediately smitten. It was served as a salad, dressed with a simple vinaigrette, and tossed with roasted vegetables. As I savored each bite all sorts of recipe ideas flooded my brain. Orange Pecan Farro Salad is the first of many recipes in which I plan to use this unique and delicious grain.
I was perusing Pinterest recently and came across a bunch of recipe pins using smashed chickpeas and avocado – as in, chickpeas and avocado mashed together. There were sandwiches, salads, dips and wraps – they ALL looked scrumptious. I suspect that’s because I am in love with chickpeas and avocado and when I saw the two mixed together I thought it was pure genius. So I set about developing my own recipe using smashed chickpeas and avocado and came up with Lobster, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette. This salad tastes divine, is packed with nutritious ingredients, and its vibrant colors make for a beautiful presentation. What more could you ask for in a dish! (more…)
Every winter, right around now, I start to crave a perfectly ripe summer tomato, straight from the garden, so that I can make Caprese Salad – a classic Italian dish of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Caprese Salad made with tomatoes at the peak of their ripeness is pretty close to heaven on earth. That’s why I miss it so terribly come winter. So this is my solution – Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Cashew Pesto, a/k/a Winter Caprese Salad. Simply roast up a batch of plum tomatoes and serve them with pesto and fresh mozzarella. Roasting the tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness. They won’t be as tasty as garden fresh tomatoes but they’re a good substitute during the cold winter months. (more…)
It’s hard to believe that a dish as simple as Chickpea Spinach Salad can be so delicious – it contains only a handful of ingredients and takes just minutes to prepare. If eating healthy is on your list of resolutions for the new year, then you’ll want to add this nutritious salad to your cooking repertoire. (more…)