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A Perfect Pair: Shrimp and Grits for Josie
10

Skillet Shrimp and Grits

If you’ve been around these parts long enough you’ll know that I’m truly in love with breakfast.  And truth be told, I love it even more when I’m eating for other meals.  Like those gratin potatoes with spinach, kale, and a runny poached egg?  That was my lunch one day over holiday break.  It was spectacular.  Well this shrimp and grits dish rates right up there.

Lord knows I’m not from the South but my great pal Josie sure is and she knows her grits.  Creamy, cheesy, stick-to-your-ribs sort of good.  Add some shrimp to a killer pan of grits and you’ve got a perfect pair.  And speaking of Josie, she’s having herself a perfect pair this week…in the form of twin boys!  Josie and Joey are adding 2 more to their family and I knew this shrimp and grits dish would be an amazing way to help celebrate a little surprise shower a few of us decided to have for her.

Skillet Shrimp and Grits

Josie loves breakfast just as much as I do and she’s all over shrimp and grits.  Being the Yankee that I am, I think this meal really does Southern comfort food justice (especially since I used the stone-ground white cornmeal Josie brought me from Atlanta in October) and I know she would love it as much as Kyle and I did.  Because you’ll bake the grits for a final 15 minutes, they aren’t quite as creamy as I would have liked for them to be but it’s a stellar recipe, nonetheless.  The only thing that could possibly make this shrimp and grits any more awesome would be a poached egg.  Surprised?  I know Josie would agree.

Here’s what the other girls made for Josie:
Annie: Paloma Cocktail (Tequila & Lime)
Courtney: Chocolate Cake with Coffee Buttercream
Elly: Sausage-Cheese Biscuits

Wouldn’t this menu would make for an amazing brunch?!

Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Potato
4

I don’t know about you guys but to me there is nothing I love about leftover vegetables.  In fact, just last night for dinner we had leftover roast chicken with its original sides of roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts…and a side of mac and cheeseSomething needed to make up for the fact that I was eating day-old brussels sprouts.

So that’s where these twice baked roasted veggie stuffed potatoes come in.  I made one for myself for lunch a few weeks ago after Josie posted her recipe and I couldn’t have been more satisfied with the result.  I did actually use up some leftover roasted brussels sprouts and carrots and I also roasted some butternut squash (homegrown!!) while the potatoes (I make a bunch at a time) were baking.

But feel free to switch up the veggies and use up whatever you may have…like whatever you’ve got in the fridge come this Friday.  I’m quite sure leftover broccoli and cheese casserole would have quite the reinvented life in these potatoes.  And if don’t have smoked or aged gouda or Gruyere but you do have a block of sharp cheddar or Swiss or havarti or…whatever… left from your cheese board on Thanksgiving (or rumbling around in the bottom of your cheese drawer), use what you’d like.  It’s an adaptable recipe and however you go about it, I’m sure you’ll love it!

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Looking for other Thanksgiving leftover makeover ideas?
Turkey Cranchiladas
Turkey Noodle Soup
Roast Chicken (or Turkey) Soft Tacos with Cilantro Cream
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Pizza
Chicken (or Turkey) and Biscuits Pot Pie
_________

 

Skillet Eggplant Lasagna
11

How do you cook 4 vegetarian dinners per week and have none of them ever include tofu?  This skillet eggplant lasagna is one of my answers, my friends.  Last fall we made the decision to eat less meat for a variety of reasons (health, cost, carbon footprint) and to my surprise when I took a critical look at our menus from the past few weeks recently, I realized that more than half of our dinners have been vegetarian each week.  And I think what shocks me the most is that Kyle is no longer asking where the meat is in his meals!

We’ve been eating lots of quinoa and incorporating more beans as protein substitutes and boosting our vegetable intake by eating meals centered on portobello mushrooms and eggplant.  So it hasn’t been a diet of salads and I couldn’t be happier.  This recipe is one that I adapted to a veggie version by simply swapping out the ground beef, a traditional ingredient in lasagna, for eggplant.  Since eggplant can be a tricky vegetable to work with due to its high water content, I took the method from this eggplant pasta recipe (which we also loved) and used it for this recipe.  It added a little extra to the overall cooking time but the method works great since sauteing cubed raw eggplant can take forever and oftentimes results in a mushy mass.

And while I wouldn’t categorize this a healthy vegetarian recipe (what lasagna recipe is healthy?), plain and simple, it’s awesome.  Using broken-up noodles gives you the chance forgo all the laying that happens with a traditional lasagna and you’re using just one pot and few dishes so clean-up isn’t a disaster.  The fact that it’s loaded with mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses certainly doesn’t hurt either.  It’s a warm and hearty meal for the chilly and rainy fall days we’ve been having recently but I can certainly see this meal happening throughout the winter as well.

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
6

Is it me or is it almost impossible to imagine eating a grilled cheese sandwich without a bowl of tomato soup?  It’s like eating a peanut butter and jelly (strawberry) sandwich on white bread without a glass of chocolate milk on the side.  The failure to complete the meal without the other half just doesn’t make sense to me.  And frankly, it makes me a little sad as well.  How many times have you said, “Man, a bowl of tomato soup would go great with this grilled cheese.”?

This creamless creamy tomato soup solves the soup-less grilled cheese issue in about 20 minutes.  Sure, it takes a little longer to cook than popping open a can but you’ll be thrilled with the results.  What makes the soup thick and creamy without the addition of cream, or any milk product for that matter, is a few slices of bread.  You’ll drop them in the cooking soup then pureé the whole mixture until it is silky smooth, the way a great tomato soup should be.  Paired with a grown-up grilled cheese on a chilly fall day…is there nothing more comforting?

Sweet Corn Cakes with Tomato-Avocado Relish
2

We’re having a blast in the kitchen this summer, thanks to having such great luck in the garden so far.  Our beefsteak tomato plants really surprised us in actually producing edible fruit as opposed to the rotted, blighted tomatoes we were expecting after the first couple that ripened went bad.  So with these beefsteaks and the insane amount of cherry tomatoes we’ve picked so far, at least 75% of our meals over the last few weeks have included something from our garden.

And that goes for these corn cakes too.  The tomato-avocado relish isn’t just a condiment here – it’s really part of a wholly fabulous (and quick!) meal.  Inside of 30 minutes, we had these fresh sweet corn cakes topped with the refreshing relish on the table – my kind of meal for a weeknight!  The corn toasts and sweetens even further when cooked making the light and fluffy cakes virtually irresistible.  It’s kind of like the awesomeness that grilled corn is but there is frying involved (who’s complaining?). Then they’re piled high with the type of topping that’s good enough to eat with tortilla chips or as a Tex-Mex bruschetta on crunchy bread.  In other words, this is an all-around winner of a meal and if I can get my hands on some more of that local sweet corn, we’ll be having it again soon!

Sweet Corn Cakes with Tomato-Avocado Relish

Yield: 10-12 corn cakes

To keep the finished corn cakes from getting cold while cooking the others, keep them on a wire rack in a 250° F oven. These corn cakes can almost be made a little ahead of time as an appetizer for company - just keep them warm in the oven and serve with the cold tomato-avocado relish. If you're making this dish in the winter, you can use frozen corn - just thaw it in a colander first.

Ingredients

    For the tomato-avocado relish:
  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 scallion or a small handful of chives, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • For the corn cakes:
  • 3 large ears of corn, shucked, and the corn cut off (this should yield about 3 cups of corn)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • For serving:
  • Ranch dressing (optional but strongly suggested)

Instructions

  1. To make the relish: Mix all of the ingredients except the avocado together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 days. Just before serving, stir in the avocado.
  2. To make the corn cakes: Place the corn kernels in a large bowl. Place 2 cups of the corn kernels in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the remaining corn kernels. Add the flour, cornmeal, onion, cilantro, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and butter, and stir with a fork just to combine - the batter will be lumpy and that's fine.
  3. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan and heat until sizzling hot. Scoop the batter into the skillet about a 1/3 cup (for main course corn cakes) or a heaping tablespoon (for appetizer-size) at a time, cooking the cakes in batches so that they are not touching while they cook. Fry 3-4 minutes per side (or 1-2 minutes per side for the smaller cakes), until golden brown. These cakes will cook a little like pancakes do so you'll know the insides are cooked through when the top of the cake is slightly firm (not hard or crisp) when gently pressed with your finger. Transfer the cooked cakes to a wire rack and keep them warm in the oven (see note above); repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot topped with the relish and drizzled with ranch dressing, if desired.

Source

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2012/08/sweet-corn-cakes-with-tomato-avocado-relish/

Margherita Pizza
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Sometimes deciding on what to make with the overwhelming number of tomatoes that we have is the easiest thing in the world.  And by overwhelming, I mean: so many tomatoes that they are practically yanking the tomato cages out of the ground as the plants lean with the weight of the tomatoes.  So we plucked a few San Marzanos, diced and hand-crushed them and then made a pizza.  A simple homemade pizza of crushed tomatoes as the “sauce”, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil.  Dinner seriously does not get any better than this one!  Who’s with me when I say that I’m going to desperately miss summer vegetables when they are gone?

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries
4

As expected, our zucchini yield in our garden wasn’t as spectacular as it probably should have been this summer.  I don’t know what it is, but we just don’t have a green thumb when it comes to growing zucchini.  The first year we planted it, we got zero zucchini.  How depressing.  This year, our three seedling plants grew fabulously, flowered like it was there job (it was), and so far we’ve only gotten two zucchini (two more will be ready this week though).  From three plants, I don’t consider that to be a success.

But nonetheless, one of the zucchini we picked got chopped up and made into these baked zucchini fries.  And to be able to eat what we grew and picked from our own yard made for such a satisfying dinner – all of the dread of a low yield just melts away.  These fries are freaking awesome!  A quick run through a basic flour-egg-panko combination then into the oven for 20 or so minutes is all that separates you from zucchini heaven.

Because the fries aren’t actually fried, I feel like you are actually able to taste the zucchini and not just the grease (there is none of here anyway), which is certainly the goal with such fresh ingredients.  They come out of the oven crispy on the outside and tender and not mushy on the inside…and not at all watery, which I was slightly worried about since zucchini is such a watery vegetable.  While the zucchini fries were baking, I whipped up a batch of our favorite ranch dressing in the blender to dip them into – this should be a requirement when making these fries.  I have a few other recipes planned for the rest of the zucchini that we pick but it’s certainly going to take a heckavalot of restraint not to make these fries again this summer!

White Bean Ragout with Parmesan Toast
5

The nights when unexpected dinners turn out to be fantastic ones are such truly satisfying nights.  Take this white bean ragout, for example.  It looked great in print on the pages of Bon Appétit but the ingredients were so basic that I couldn’t help but be a little skeptical of the results.  And perhaps, it was the use of such basic ingredients the really made this meal so special.  Or maybe it was the fact that it was so completely simple to make.

The food processor does all the hard work of chopping and then you’ll simmer down the onions and red bell peppers in what may seem like a ton of olive oil (it isn’t) for half an hour.  And after adding garlic and tomato paste, you’ll just have made soffritto, only one of the most versatile bases for Italian dishes you can make.

The whole dish put together was homey, comforting, and hearty – all reasons why I love white beans so much.  We ate the ragout served atop the Parmesan toast (I used the sesame semolina bread that we love), in our hands, like a perfectly rustic bruschetta…and then we ate the leftover ragout the next night over whole wheat spaghetti where I thinned out the mixture a little with some vegetable broth to give it more of a sauce consistency.  This may be a warm and humble vegetarian meal but you won’t be sorry to make it any time of the year.

Smashed Avocado-Chile Tartines
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I’ve got this thing about weekend lunches.  Kyle’s got this other thing.  I feel they should be quick and easy, not requiring thought or time.  Kyle, it seems, grew up in Europe where lunches are often have more emphasis than dinner.  (He didn’t, by the way.)  For me, a sandwich and some fruit or chips or leftovers from during the week make the perfect weekend lunch.  For Kyle, roast chicken with herbed potatoes and steamed vegetables are ideal.  (Actually, it’s more like hot dogs or burgers on the grill with potato salad and beans.)  And I realize that throwing a few dogs on the grill is not complicated by any standard but I grew up with the mindset that the kitchen is closed for lunch on the weekend – make yourself a sandwich or starve…and I’m ok with that.

But I made an exception on the 4th of July – it was a holiday, what can I say?  These avocado-chile tartines were just as easy as making a sandwich…and let’s face it, tartines are the European version of sandwiches so I’m still moving with the same train of thought here.  Basically, I steeped some garlic and chile flakes in olive oil, grilled some bread, and smashed up some avocado.  That’s it.  And now I can add an avocado tree to my list of must-grow fruit trees (do they even grow in the northeast?) because between guacamole and these tartines, I could seriously go broke on avocados.  Rich, buttery, creamy smashed avocado with a hint of heat on crispy, crunchy grilled bread – the perfect light weekend/day-off lunch.

**Note** – When writing the original recipe, I forgot to include the lime juice; the recipe below has been adjusted to include this.

Smashed Avocado-Chile Tartines

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3-4 lunch servings

These tartines would make an excellent and quick weeknight dinner served with a side salad or fabulous appetizers for a party – just grill or toast up small rounds of French bread instead of ciabatta. For our tartines, I used sesame semolina (a crusty Italian bread) but if you can’t find it, ciabatta bread will work too. There will be some leftover chile-oil – it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks and can be brought to room temperature to be used in other recipes (like brushing onto pizza dough before building a pizza).

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper chile flakes plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed (skins removed)
  • ½ loaf ciabatta or other crusty Italian bread, sliced on the bias (diagonally to maximize surface area), about ½-inch thick
  • 2 ripe avocado, pitted, removed from skin, and cubed
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat (about 400° F).
  2. In a small saute pan, heat the oil, chile flakes, and garlic over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the chile flakes and garlic start sizzling. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes – do not let the garlic burn. Remove from the heat and pour the oil through a mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Discard the garlic and chile flakes and set the oil aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Brush both sides of the bread slices lightly with the oil. Grill both sides of the bread until they are lightly browned and toasted around the edges – this takes about 3 minutes per side.
  4. While the bread grills, in a medium bowl, smash the avocado with, lime juice, about ¼ tsp salt and a sprinkle of pepper with a fork, leaving some larger chunks, if desired. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the chile-oil.
  5. Divide the smashed avocado between the grilled bread slices, drizzle with a little extra chile-oil and sprinkle the tops with extra chile flakes before serving. Serve the avocado at room temperature while the bread is still warm from the grill.

Source

source: inspired by Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2012

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2012/07/smashed-avocado-chile-tartines/

Take Out Fake Out: Shrimp Lo Mein
4

It’s no surprise to me that when we tried this recipe for the first time about 6 months ago, we loved everything about it…well, except the noodles.  I had been searching for probably a year and half for real lo mein noodles for this recipe and finally just bit the bullet and made the recipe with spaghetti.  It just wasn’t right, people.  Thin spaghetti may have worked better but I wasn’t going to chance it.

So when I was perusing Whole Foods with Josie, Courtney, and Annie back in February while stocking up to cook dinner that night, Annie found lo mein noodles for me.  I had searched high and low (no pun intended) in my Whole Foods and local grocery stores to no avail.  I snagged the package and now I wished I had grabbed a few extra because I still can’t find them here!

Noodles issue aside, this shrimp lo mein was a perfect departure from heavy and oftentimes greasy Chinese take out lo mein.  The flavors perfectly mimic what we know take out lo mein to be but there’s just something about controlling all of the ingredients of a dish that make it so satisfying.  We went with a vegetarian version, swapping out the original chicken broth and chicken breast for vegetable broth and shrimp, respectively, and I love the fact that the list of vegetables in the recipe is versatile enough to use up whatever you have hanging around in the fridge.  After some minimal prep work, the whole recipe comes together rather quickly, so make sure you’ve got everything washed, chopped, and ready to go before you start.  I saved the other half of the package of noodles for a “rainy day” which may come sooner rather than later because now I’m craving these noodles again!

Light Meals for Hot Nights
4

I don’t know about you guys but I hate cooking when it’s 90+ degrees.  And I realize that if I lived in Texas, I’d have serious issues but let’s face it, somebody has to get dinner on the table.  So when it’s hotter than heck outside, it might as well be an easy meal even if the A/C is blasting all summer long (like in our wussie house)  Here a few of our favorites:

[Photos listed Left to Right, Top to Bottom]

  1. Watermelon Feta Mixed Greens Salad
  2. Greek Grilled Chicken
  3. Tabbouleh
  4. Grilled Spice-Rubbed Shrimp Nicoise Salad
  5. Chipotle & Honey Glazed Grilled Chicken
  6. Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
  7. Greek Panzanella
  8. Bruschetta with Sweet Red Peppers and Gorgonzola
  9. Spicy Bean Burritos
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Feta
4

There are only a few nights during the year that I have the house to myself.  Very rarely Kyle will work an overnight shift or he’ll have some side work to do but I can always count on his continuing ed classes each year to give me the house to myself.  I don’t know what it is about having the house to myself in the evening especially since I spend almost every Saturday alone while he works but there’s something I love about having the freedom to cook what I want, when I want, without having to think about anyone else but myself.

And that’s how this quinoa salad happened.  I wasn’t 100% sure what Kyle would think of quinoa, never having eaten it before, so I made it for myself with plenty of leftovers in case he was hungry and adventurous when he got home that night last week.  As it turns out, I should have more faith in that man because he loved it as much as I did.  I let the oven do most of the work, roasting the tomatoes and broccoli as the quinoa simmered away, and threw in some feta and lemon juice as it all came together.  I really need to make it a point to roast tomatoes more often because they’re just plain awesome, especially when paired with feta.  This salad is light and healthy and it can be served either warm or cold (I prefer it warm).  I can see us making this quite a bit this summer and perhaps toting it along with us to various bbqs as an alternative to the heavier traditional salads usually served.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Feta

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 small head broccoli (about 1 ½ cups), flowers only cut small
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with the thyme, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the honey. Roast for 40 minutes then add the broccoli to the baking sheet and drizzle the remaining olive oil, tossing to combine with the tomatoes. Roast for an additional 20 minutes.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the quinoa, vegetable broth, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to a boil; reduce to a simmer, stir once, and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until the water has absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and cool until the vegetables have finished roasting.
  3. Stir the vegetables, feta, and lemon juice into the quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, cool, or at room temperature.

Source

source: adapted from Dinner: A Love Story

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2012/06/quinoa-salad-with-roasted-tomatoes-broccoli-and-feta/

The Ultimate Veggie Burger
3

The Ultimate Veggie Burger

Sometime around 1999, I tried a veggie burger for the first time.  It was frozen, from the grocery store, and not as horrific as my little brother proclaimed it was.  Actually, I kind of liked it but then proceeded not to eat another one ever again.  And for no specific reason, just that beef [or chicken or turkey] burgers made more sense to me.  Flash forward to 2012 where about 50% of our meals each week are vegetarian.  This time, I have specific reasons: increasing the number of [oftentimes] lower caloric and nutrient-rich veggie-packed meals we eat, lowering our carbon footprint, saving a few bucks on meat that seems to be ever-so expensive these days, and do I even have to mention pink slime?  (Whole Foods in Danbury, CT, please hurry up and get built!!!)

IMG_0594

For at least a year now, I’ve been wanting to make veggie burgers at home and I’m so, so glad I finally did because I totally fell in love with them.  Earthy and deeply, almost roasted flavored from sautéed vegetables and mushrooms, these burgers are a meal by themselves.  Primarily held together by a mixture of lentils, black beans, bulger, and panko breadcrumbs, the texture is decent – definitely not cardboard-esque like those which hail from the freezer section but more like that of a crab cake: light, soft, and a little messy (though not messy to cook, just a little messy to eat).  Grilled or pan-fried, served atop some homemade buns with your choice of toppings and a little garlic aioli, and you’ve got yourself a hearty and completely satisfying meatless burger.  The only downfall to this recipe is that it isn’t a quick one.  I felt like I used every pan and bowl in my kitchen that night last week and from start to finish, these burgers took me about an hour to make.  The good thing is that the recipe yields 12 large burgers (there’s no harm in even making them a little smaller) and you can freeze the uncooked remaining veggie burger patties.  For this I’m ecstatic because now I’ve got an instant and fabulous dinner ready for when we’re ready to fire up our new grill!

Greek Salad
3

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To me, there’s nothing like a fresh salad for lunch or dinner following a heavy meal the night before and this Greek salad is the perfect example of this.  And considering my love for feta cheese and recently discovered addiction to kalamata olives, you can imagine how much I adore this salad.  You’ll made a knock-out and crazy simple homemade dressing that includes red wine vinegar, fresh oregano (grow your own this summer!), and fresh garlic to marinate the red onions and cucumbers in order to reduce the bite and boost flavor, respectively.  And in just a few minutes time, you’ll be able to throw this salad together and have a light and healthy meal on the table.  I know I’m not alone when I say this: the quicker and tastier the meal, the better.  Win win!

Greek Salad

Ingredients

    For the vinaigrette:
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp minced fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced thin (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce, washed, dried thoroughly, and torn into 1 ½-inch-pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes (10 ounces total), each tomato cored, seeded, and cut into 12 wedges
  • 6 oz (about 1 cup) jarred roasted red bell pepper, cut into ½- by 2-inch strips
  • 20 large pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
  • 5 oz (about 1 cup) feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients in large bowl until combined. Add onion and cucumber and toss; let stand to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add romaine, tomatoes, and peppers to bowl with onions and cucumbers; toss to coat with dressing. Transfer salad to wide, shallow serving bowl or platter; sprinkle olives and feta over salad. Alternatively, you can dress each salad individually, thereby allowing each person to determine how much dressing they want on their salad. Serve immediately.

Source

source: adapted from The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2012/03/greek-salad/

Take-Out Fake-Out: Veggie Fried Rice
5

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It never fails that when we’re looking to get Chinese take-out, I’m craving fried rice with my meal because let’s face it, white rice is for the birds.  The sticky stuff does nothing for me.  So when I came across this recipe last month for vegetable fried rice, I was all over it like…um, white on rice?  :) I loved the fact that by making it at home, I could control the ingredients and use up leftover rice from other nights of the week – or just make the rice in advance when I have a few spare minutes in the kitchen, which you should do anyway because the cooked rice needs to be cold for this dish.  I immediately opted for brown rice, boosted both the fresh garlic and ginger, and used frozen peas and carrots (easy!!) rather than peeling and chopping multiple carrots. We seriously loved how this recipe turned out – so much so that we made it twice in a week.  We paired it with some teriyaki chicken (let me know if you’re interested in the recipe) to round out the meal and it ended up being a substantial, quick, and relatively healthy dinner.  And since I misread a recipe I made earlier this week, leaving me with over 3 cups of cooked brown rice, I know what we’re having tonight!