6/28/16

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas With Spinach & Poached Egg: OXO Good Grips Glass Snap Containers

I strongly dislike cleaning. Strangely enough, though, I'm a fan of organizing (when I feel like it). I love my professionally organized closet, the OXO POPup Containers in my pantry (really just a kitchen cabinet) and various food containers I bought from QVC that have perfectly locking lids.

When OXO reached out to see if I'd like to test out their newly developed Good Grips Glass Snap Containers, I jumped up and down (literally...or maybe figuratively!). These are glass containers that have snap on lids that can be used to prep, store, cook and serve the food. They look good and can go from the freezer to your oven (take the lids off first of course). There will be no spills with these!

The set I received includes 4 round containers of different sizes (which all fit inside one another) and 4 matching lids. 


I used these containers to store the prepped ingredients for my Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas With Spinach & Poached Egg and then to store the leftovers. They worked really well!


Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas With Spinach & Poached Egg
Ingredients

1 sweet potato, peeled, diced {keep the size the same as chickpeas}
1 cup cooked chickpeas
olive oil, salt & pepper
1 bunch spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 poached egg
dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, microplaned
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to tasted


Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. Drizzled diced sweet potatoes and chickpeas with oil and season with salt and pepper in the largest OXO bowl, cover with the snap on lid and shake.
3. Roast the sweet potato and chickpeas in a single layer on a large cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, shake all the dressing ingredients in a Little Salad Dressing Shaker {I love how its green color matches the color of my kitchen}.
5. Toss the roasted vegetables with torn spinach leaves and enough dressing to coat {you'll have some of the dressing left over}. Use  2-in-1 Salad Servers to serve this "salad" and top the dish with a poached egg.


If you have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator in one of the smaller glass containers!



Disclosure: I was provided with the set of OXO products as a gift but was not compensated otherwise for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

6/23/16

Mayo Free Potato Salad Inspired By A Picnic Dinner

I love potatoes! Potato salad is particularly something I love in the summer. There are so many different ingredients you can incorporate, not to mention the types of potatoes you can use: purple, sweet or regular red skinned ones.

Last night I made a batch of potato salad inspired by one of my other favorite summer things: picnic dinners. 

Here's what happened: I had an incredibly frustrating time shopping for a swimming suit Monday after work. To remedy the situation, I treated myself to a pedicure and then picked up a bunch of things at World Market for a picnic dinner. There were chips and salsa, olives, salami, smoked gouda, hard cider, and a few items from my fridge (cucumbers and hummus).


Last night I took some of the leftovers from the picnic dinner and turned them into a potato salad.

Mayo Free Potato Salad Inspired By A Picnic Dinner

Ingredients
red skinned potatoes, cubed, cooked until tender in salted water
salami, cubed
chickpeas {in lieu of hummus}
olives, chopped
cucumbers, diced
dill, chopped
basil, chopped
salt & black pepper to taste
Greek yogurt {full fat}
salsa

Directions
Combine all ingredients being careful not to mash the potatoes.


I'm having the leftovers of this salad for lunch today and am so happy about it.

How do you make potato salad?

6/20/16

Clean Out The Fridge Shrimp And Vegetable Soup


Last month before I went on vacation to Iceland, I needed to do quite a bit of cleaning. One of the cleaning tasks was my refrigerator. I had random produce and some fresh shrimp I bought on a whim.

In order to avoid wasting produce, I decided to make soup. Soup or pasta or frittata are great ways to use up random ingredients.

This is more of a blueprint than a recipe ;)

Clean Out The Fridge Shrimp And Vegetable Soup

1. Use shrimp shells, a few garlic cloves, pepper corns and onion skins to make broth.
2. Saute sliced mushrooms in a bit of olive oil.
3. Add shrimp broth. Add sliced fennel and bok choy and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
4. Add fresh corn kernels, thinly sliced shallot and whole shrimp and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through (pink).
5. Season the soup with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil and serve topped with scallions.

This was a satisfying meal which made me feel better about not wasting food for once.

6/17/16

Friday Fun: Nail Art


TGIF! 

Today I am sharing with you a fun nail art project you can do at home!

This is a good way to fix chipping manicure or combine two fun colors when you can't just choose one. 

1) Paint 2 coats of your main nail polish color. Allow at least 30 minutes to dry. OR you can add a top coat and go with the monochrome look for a few days. That's what I did.

2) Using tape, create your design. I did a simple diagonal look.

3) Using a darker color, paint one section of your nail above or below the tape.

4) Allow at least 10-15 minutes for the nail polish to dry. 

5) Carefully remove the tape. You should end up with a very clean look like I did.

6) Add top coat. Allow to dry. Go into the world!


Here's what I used: Zoya's Neely; Essie's Don't Sweater It, Seche Vite top coat {thanks Anna for the top coat recommendation!}.

PS I made that amethyst ring!!

Have a great weekend!

6/15/16

Sabra Guacamole Toast With Goat Cheese, Asparagus & Hard Boiled Eggs

What do man buns, avocado toasts and snapchat have in common? Well, they are the latest "it" things.

If you had to guess, which one do you think I support? Yes, only one!

Avocado toasts of course.

I love smashing avocado on toasted sourdough bread and sprinkling it with flaky salt. Sometimes I go a bit fancier and add sriracha or slices of tomato or black sesame seeds.

When Sabra asked me if I'd like to develop a recipe (more an idea) for an avocado toast using one of their new Sabra Veggie Fusions, I wanted to make something that would qualify as a full meal. Try my Guacamole Toast With Goat Cheese, Asparagus & Hard Boiled Eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Disclosure: Sabra provided samples and compensation for the recipe development, but all opinions are my own. Make sure to check out other recipes I developed using Sabra products!


When it comes to food, I am not usually a minimalist: I like several toppings on my pizza, Swiss cheese and spicy mayo on my burgers, and something other than just lime and garlic in my guacamole.

Sabra's Veggie Fusions Guacamole comes in 3 flavors: garden vegetable, Southwestern, and mango lime. All flavors have 30 percent less fat than the regular guacamole and are packed with real vegetables such as carrots and peppers that add antioxidants, vitamins and fiber to Hass avocados. Also, if you are vegan, keep a kosher or a gluten-free diet, these are perfect for you!

Quick tip: stir the veggie fusion guacamole after opening the container and before digging in.


Guacamole Toast With Goat Cheese, Asparagus & Hard Boiled Eggs
Makes 2 toasts

Ingredients
2 slices of a baguette, cut on a deep diagonal (or bias), toasted
4 tablespoons Veggie Fusions Garden Vegetable Guacamole
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
4-8 asparagus spears, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, broiled for 5-10 minutes {if your asparagus is rather fat, slice it lengthwise in half before broiling}
1 hard boiled egg, sliced
hot sauce to taste


Directions
1. Spread the guacamole on toasts, top with crumbled goat cheese, broiled asparagus and sliced hard boiled egg and drizzle with hot sauce.


You guys! This turned out better than I expected and not as messy to eat as I thought. The flavors went so well together, as did the textures!

If you wanted to experiment, try using a poached egg and maybe adding some bacon!


For more information on Sabra's latest product, check out Veggie Fusions and download your $1 coupon!


What's YOUR favorite way to make an avocado toast?

6/13/16

Meatless Monday Dinner Under The Broiler: One Sheet Pan Meal


Looking for a quick Meatless Monday dinner? Something that will require minimum chopping, prepping and effort on your part? Well, I have just what you need!

How about using your broiler to do 99% of the work?

All you need to do is drizzle asparagus, portobella mushroom, corn on the cob and halved Roma tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil the vegetables for 10-20 minutes depending on their size, checking often. Asparagus will definitely need less time than the rest of the vegetables.

Also, make sure to rotate the corn every 5 minutes or so.

Add guacamole, hummus, toasted baguette and a glass of rose, and you are all set. Ok, maybe a bowl of cold watermelon chunks will be good with this as well ;)

6/10/16

Happy Weekend!


TGIF! I wish you all a very happy and relaxing and beautiful weekend!

I'm going to do my best to deal with 90F degree heat while learning about Cuban food, motivating myself to go swimming, doing a bit of cleaning, and hopefully fitting in at least one nap.

The gorgeous hydrangeas above belong to one of my neighbors: I snapped this photo last night on a late evening walk. Aren't they beautiful?

6/9/16

Easy Summer Vegetarian Meal


Want an easy summer dinner? I have one for you:

1) Roast sweet potatoes and beets drizzled in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Make sure to have air conditioning on! Once roasted, top with goat cheese.
2) Make a salad of raw fennel, avocado, tomatoes, red onion and basil and dress it simply with olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt & pepper.
3) Boil corn.
3) Binge on fresh cherries.

Serving this on a small cookie sheet is fun and makes for an easy couch meal :)

Of course feel free to add a glass of chilled white wine!

Happy almost weekend!

6/6/16

Perfect Meatless Monday Summer Breakfast: English Muffin With Ricotta, Nectarines & Honey


Happy Monday! Did you miss me? I know I haven't posted in a few weeks, but I've still been eating and cooking :)

Yesterday for breakfast I made something summery, fresh, easy, and vegetarian that will become my go to breakfast for this week and the rest of the summer!

Perfect Meatless Monday Summer Breakfast: English Muffin With Ricotta, Nectarines & Honey

1. Toast an English muffin
2. Slather the English muffin with ricotta (please use full fat)
3. Top ricotta with slices of nectarine
4. Drizzle nectarine with honey and sprinkle with smoked birch salt from Iceland {if you haven't been to Iceland and don't have smoked birch salt, use any salt you like}
5. Top the entire concoction with fresh basil

How good was this? It was awesome! You get the crunch of the toasted English muffin with the smoothness of ricotta; the sweetness from the honey contrasting the smoked salt, and the freshness of basil and nectarines!

There are a million variations to this dish, but I'll give you a few
1. Use peaches or strawberries or bananas instead of nectarines
2. Drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction instead of honey
3. Try mint or cilantro instead of basil
4. For something savory, add slices of tomatoes and cucumbers to the ricotta topped English muffin and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

What are you eating for breakfast?

5/23/16

Ultimate Meatless Monday: Vegan Food At Vinyl In Reykjavik

For the last 8 days, I've vacationed in Iceland with my sister Anna and our friend Jenny.

There were no museums or salsa dancing or farmer's markets (my usual vacation musts). Instead, there was a failed attempt at snorkeling (me!), glacier hike with a hot instructor/ guide Thor, boat ride in the glacier lagoon, amazing scenery, sing alongs and so much food!

We saw and ate sheep/ lamb. We didn't see, but did eat puffin. There was also arctic char, smoked salmon, beef, potatoes, and bread with butter.

Right now I'm sitting at Vinyl which is next to our airbnb and writing a quck post after enjoying a vegan meal and before heading out to the airport to fly back to DC.

YES, you read that right: vegan!

I had a sandwich with flaxseed spread, eggplant, roasted peppers, and "cheese." I'm not planning on becoming a vegan, but this was a lovely change from the meat heavy meals I've had in the last 8 days.

Plus, the restaurant has great decor and plays records! Make sure to check out my instagram feed to see all the photos from my trip to Iceland.

Till the next adventure!