Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

I have already expressed my love for diced baked sweet potatoes. When I found this recipe on Instagram I tagged my sister because I thought she would like it. I also added it to my virtual menu ideas list but hadn’t made it yet. On Monday I got an email from my sister saying that she had tried “it was DELICIOUS” (the all caps are from her!).

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

It just so happened that we had been invited to a dinner at our neighbors house the next night and I needed something to bring. Hello this!

Side note about the dinner: some Navy Seals live across the street from us and 2 of them are going on deployment to South Africa next month. They hosted a Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years event since they won’t be back until after the first of the year. The event was complete with:

  • Halloween candy bowls which included mini airplane liquor bottles. I joked that Hudson wasn’t allowed to treat or treat at their house!
  • a full on Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, ham and all the sides
  • Christmas garland, lights, Christmas music playing and Elf on the Shelf AND
  • New Years party hats and champagne

Such a fun idea to also do with family or friends that you can’t spend every holiday with.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Since I have all of the ingredients and only got a small bite yesterday, I think I’m going to make more for dinner!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

  • about 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 jumbo), washed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (or sub 2-3 tablespoons of chopped chives)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 cup corn (I use frozen that I allowed to thaw)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, minced (about half of 1 bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice may be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray and add the sweet potatoes in an even, flat layer. Evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until fork-tender and done. Halfway through baking flip potatoes to ensure even cooking. Baking time will vary based on size of potatoes, oven and climate variances, and I recommend starting to check at 30 minutes for doneness. While potatoes bake, prep and chop the remaining ingredients.
  • To a large bowl, add the black beans, green onions, red pepper, corn, cilantro; set aside.
  • To a large measuring cup or small bowl, add the honey, dijon mustard, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and whisk to combine; set aside.
  • After potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl with the beans and vegetables, add the sauce and toss to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance (add more salt, pepper, touch of honey, lemon juice, etc.), make any necessary tweaks and serve.
  • Potato salad can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled and will keep airtight in the fridge.

Recipe from Averie Cooks

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Chopped Taco Salad

My mom used to make a version of this salad when we were kids. I remember there being enough salad that an entire bag of crushed Doritos was mixed in! I think there was also most of a bottle of ranch dressing involved. I substituted a handful of Late July organic tortilla chips. Mom would approve of this version nowadays versus the dusty orange, chemical laden Doritos of the past.

Late July chips

Confession: I hid the rest of the bag of chips from my teenage son, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen them again!

chopped taco salad

Served in front of the tv while watching the movie Fury with a side of pickled jalapenos.

Chopped Taco Salad

What it took for 2 nice sized servings:

  • 8 ounces ground sirloin
  • heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • shredded cheddar cheese, (didn’t measure about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced (in the summer I have used chives)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 12-15 nacho chips, crushed
  • Newman’s Own organic ranch dressing  (didn’t measure about 1/4 cup)
  • pickled jalapenos
  • cilantro is amazing in this salad but I didn’t have any

Method

  • Cook ground sirloin until well done and drain. Stir in taco seasoning along with a couple tablespoons of water. After the water has evaporated turn off and remove from heat to cool slightly.
  • In the meantime start preparing the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Start with the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, avocado…then squeeze the lime juice over the avocado (for amazing flavor and to keep the color fresh), crush the tortillas over the salad, add the slightly cooled meat, drizzle with the ranch dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

layering the taco salad

 

Honey Hoisin Glazed Chicken

“You should start an eatery and name it Chicken and just serve this,” stated Travis as he got up from the table last night.

A couple of other people can speak for the crispy, lick your fingers, awesomeness of this chicken. I served it last weekend when my sister Zandria and her husband Paul were visiting and they were also fans. Like the “have a second piece” type of fans.

honey hoisin chicken

It’s a tad spicy. Definitely sticky. Better than the best BBQ sauce. If you don’t eat the skin I’ll hit you. EAT the skin. Or mail it to me as a present.

We served it with a huge pile of farmer’s market kale and spinach mixed up.

honey hoisin chicken

Honey Hoisin Glazed Chicken

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced (I used chives because I have a ton growing right now)
  • 2 teaspoons black and white sesame seeds, for serving (I forgot to use them!)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking tray by lining it with foil. I used a multi-pack of leg and thigh pieces but you could also use wings or just legs. Season chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and crushed red pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the honey, hoisin and soy sauce.
  • Remove chicken from the oven and liberally brush with the glaze. Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes.
  • Remove chicken from oven and glaze again. Let set for 5-10 minutes before serving to cool down. Extra glaze can be served with chicken for dipping.

Halibut with Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

I went to the store yesterday with cod on my grocery list but the halibut was on sale…endofstory. Just kidding, another selling point was the fact it was wild caught and sustainable. Halibut is awesome when paired with a little sweetness and it loves when you shower it with citrus. Toss in some fresh herbs. Avocado. Tomato. Done. mango avocado salsa For the halibut: season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, get a pan really hot and add a splash of EVOO, then sear the fish for about 3 min per side. I made a bed of plain quinoa, then added the halibut and topped with plenty of the salsa. We ate all of the salsa between 2 people so if you are feeding more…make MORE 🙂 halibut with mango avocado salsa

Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into a large dice
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced mango, thawed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4-5 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives (I use kitchen shears…easier than a knife!)
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Toss together in a small bowl and enjoy outside!

Based on this recipe from Bon Appetit.

Maple Dijon Chicken with Cauliflower Potato Mash

This was my stove-top last night. To the left the chicken was simmering away in a sauce that’s sort of a spin on honey mustard and oh-so good. I had just added the cooked potatoes to the cauliflower and they were waiting to get pureed. In the back green beans were steaming.

a busy stovetop

These fresh herbs came out of my garden and transformed dinner for sure. The cauliflower potato mash wouldn’t have been the same without the slight-oniony flavor of the chives. The parsley added a nice freshness to the tangy chicken and the rosemary went into the maple dijon sauce the chicken cooked in.

rosemary, parsley and chives

I always forget to take pictures of the finished product (part of the reason I haven’t posted for awhile) but I did snap one pic before digging in!

maple dijon chicken

Maple Dijon Chicken

  • about 1.5 pounds boneless-skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for serving

Method

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat with a little EVOO. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and cook on one side until a good sear develops.
  • In the meantime mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Flip the chicken over and add the sauce. Turn the heat down to med/med-low and cook for about 15-20 minutes, basting with the sauce from time to time.

slightly adapted from Table For Two Blog

And now for the mash!

Cauliflower Potato Mash

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 5 small russet potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup half-n-half
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (or so) chopped fresh chives, for serving

Method

  • Peel and dice the potatoes and place them in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Cook until fork tender, drain.
  • Meanwhile add the cauliflower florets into a large skillet with the chicken stock. Cover and bring to boil and simmer until soft.
  • When the cauliflower and potatoes are done add the potatoes into the skillet with the cauliflower. Add the half-n-half, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until chunky. If mixture is too dry add a slash of chicken stock. Top with chives when serving. No butter needed but it can be added if you wish!

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumbers and Avocado

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with cucumbers and avocado

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”  — A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Today is all rainy (again!!) and in the low 70’s (again!!) so in order to pretend like it’s still August and summertime I made a light and cold salad for lunch today.

Super yummy! Crunchy and fresh from the cucumbers. The buttery smooth avocado. I love the flavor of the sesame oil with the buckwheat noodles! Oh…and don’t be impatient…wait for the noodles to get cold in the fridge…it’s worth it! 🙂

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumbers and Avocado

  • 6 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large seedless cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions (or chives), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lime
  • sesame seeds

Method

  1. Boil the soba noodles in salty water until al dente (about 4 minutes). Drain and rinse them under cold water for a minute or two. Place noodles in a medium to large bowl. Drizzle with the sesame oil.
  2. In a small dish combine the soy sauce and rice vinegar, set aside. Slice the cucumbers in half first and then slice into half moon shapes. Add to the bowl with the soba noodles. Add chives and the soy sauce mixture to the noodles and toss everything together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. When ready to serve, dice the avocado. Generously squeeze fresh lime juice over the avocado, then toss into the salad. Top with sesame seeds.

Adapted From Love and Lemons

Crispy Quinoa Sliders with Zucchini and Chives

Crispy Quinoa Sliders

Today I was all by myself. No class. No boyfriend working from home. No appointments or anywhere to be. What did I decide to do? I worked out. I cooked a homemade lunch and dinner. I hung pictures. I planted some house plants and worked in my herb garden. I relaxed with my laptop. I also looked up recipes that included chives because with 3 plants growing I have plenty.

These quinoa sliders were a bit of work but well worth it. They are crispy, a very flavorful. Cheesy, garlic-y and onion-y…they didn’t need the buns that the orginal recipe suggested. As I ate them, I imagined making them for family or for a get together with friends. It’s one of those things you would make that would impress people because they wouldn’t expect vegetarian burgers to taste so good!

Here’s a look at the mix before it was fried up:

Quinoa Sliders mix

I placed the sliders on parchment paper to cool after cooking:

Crispy Quinoa Sliders

Today for lunch I ate two of the quinoa sliders with a baked sweet potato! They were perfect together and gave me the energy I needed to work around the house!

Crispy Quinoa Sliders and a sweet potato

Crispy Quinoa Sliders with Zucchini and Chives

  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • Two slices of wheat bread, torn into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa in 1 1/3 cup vegetable broth until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork and leave uncovered to cool for about 15 minutes.

  • In a food processor, pulse the bread until coarse crumbs form; you should have about 1 cup. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Squeeze the liquid from the zucchini and add the zucchini to the eggs. Stir in the cheese, chives, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix in the quinoa and bread crumbs. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Using a 1/4-cup measure, form 1/2-inch-thick patties. Add 6 patties to skillet and cook until golden on the bottom, 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove first 6 sliders and place on parchment paper. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet, and form the 6 remaining patties. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, until crisp. Serve with buns, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and pickles if desired.

Recipe Slightly Adapted from Food and Wine