7/25/17

What To Do With Ginormous Summer Squash: Vegan Succotash!


If you are a gardener and have ginormous summer squash, I have a great dish for you: Vegan Succotash!!

Check out the 11 inch squash I received in my order of produce from Washington's Green Grocer. That thing could feed a family of 5 :)

I decided to cube the summer squash and turn it into a vegan succotash with a few other summer vegetables. Cured olives add a bit of interest and a great amount of saltiness. This can be breakfast, lunch or dinner, or a great base for frittata or an omelet.

What To Do With Ginormous Summer Squash: Vegan Succotash!

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large summer squash, cubed (about 2-3 cups)
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 orange pepper, chopped
kernels from 1 corn on the cob
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes
10 black cured olives, pitted
fresh dill

Directions
1. Heat a cast iron skillet. Add olive oil and allow it to heat.
2. Add squash, onions, and pepper and saute until translucent.
3. Add corn, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and saute until all the vegetables are tender and golden brown.
4. Serve topped with olives and dill.


7/17/17

Meatless Monday: Avocado Toast Meets Elote


Love avocado toast? Want to step up your breakfast? I have you covered with my Avocado Toast Meets Elote idea. This works great for a Meatless Monday meal!

This past Saturday night I was sitting on the couch, watching Moana and contemplating what to make for breakfast on Sunday. 

I'm almost always thinking about food. 

I mentally tried to picture the contents of my refrigerator and a few of the items stood out: avocado, fresh corn, and queso fresco. That's when I thought it'd be fun to combine a few of my favorite things: avocado toast and elote

Avocado Toast Meets Elote
Ingredients
sourdough bread, sliced and toasted
avocado, mashed
corn kernels sauteed in olive oil seasoned lightly with salt
sriracha
queso fresco, crumbled
cilantro, chopped
tomato, sliced & salted
iced coffee 
half & half

Directions
1. Top toasted slices of bread with mashed avocado, sauteed corn, sriracha, queso fresco and cilantro.
2. Serve with slices of tomatoes and iced coffee.

This was an awesome breakfast. Slightly messy. Satisfying. Pretty. 

What's your latest avocado toast creation?

7/13/17

Best TV Watching Food: Picnic Dinner

If you love watching TV and eating food as much as I do, I have a strong feeling you'll want to lick your computer screen or your phone screen when you'll see the photos below.

My friends Elizabeth and Sarah have been coming over to my condo on Mondays for The Bachelorette (no shame!) night, and other than catching up and watching the show together, the other highlight of our evenings is the food!!

Here are the photos from our last get together. Keep it simple: finger foods, something you can graze on, and a fun drink are the key ingredients to a fun picnic dinner.

Quick Sangria
Rose
Sliced Strawberries
Sliced Peaches
Leftovers? Make popsicles!

Cheese Plate
Triple Cream Brie
Blue
Cheddar
Baguette
Grapes
Salami


Mostly Vegetarian
Hummus
Cucumbers
Carrots
Olives
Ranch dressing
Dolmas
Salami


Not pictured: cherries for dessert.

What is your favorite TV food?

7/10/17

Meatless Monday: What To Do With Pea Shoots? Vegan Green Salad.


Last week I received a bunch of gorgeous green pea shoots in my latest order from Washington's Green Grocer. They were almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

I decided to create one of my big ass salads with everything green! You can of course add other vegetables, but I think it's fun to make a monochromatic meal from time to time. This salad is healthy, perfect for Meatless Monday, vegan and most importantly light and summery and tastes great.


The above photo is taken in front of my condo door (inside) which I've recently painted Laser Lemon. I'm in ♥ with how it turned out.

Vegan Green Salad

Ingredients
Boston lettuce
cucumbers, sliced thinly
avocado, sliced
pea shoots
basil
olive oil
salt 

Directions
Arrange the first five ingredients on a large platter, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.


For a non-vegan twist, drizzle the salad with Ranch dressing! :)


I've also used these pea shoots on top of a turkey, cheese, and avocado sandwich, and on top of an egg salad sandwich. Check out my instagram

7/3/17

What To Do With Leftover Sangria: Boozy Popsicles

Do you have a pitcher of leftover sangria? I know it's a relatively crazy question, but you all know I'm a lightweight when it comes to drinking.

Unlike white wine that can last a while in the refrigerator, sangria will probably go bad after a day because it has fresh fruit in it. So.....blend it and freeze it in popsicle molds!

My latest sangria was made with rose, strawberries and peaches.

Cheers!


That's a bit of red, white and blue for your 4th of July!

6/26/17

Strawberry & Almond Bread: Fruit By Nancie McDermott


Did you pick up fresh strawberries and want to turn them into a sweet treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack? Then you will definitely want to make Nancie McDermott's Fresh Strawberry Bread.

I received a copy of Nancie's latest cookbook called Fruit for a review and although it doesn't have any photos, it's full of easy to follow and inventive recipes featuring blackberries, cantaloupe, damson plums, figs, mayhaws, grapes, pawpaws, peaches, persimmons (featured on the cover), quince, strawberries and watermelon that are typically grown in the South. Personally, I think an addition of tomatoes would have been clever ;)

Each fruit chapter begins with an overview of the fruit, a few gardening tips and cooking suggestions. The recipes that follow don't have an overwhelming number of ingredients and can be made in a few simple steps.

I chose the strawberry bread, which let's be honest is more like a cake, because I don't like bananas, and that's the type of fruit that's most often featured in such breads.

I made two minor changes to the recipe: toasted sliced almonds instead of pecans or walnuts and oil instead of butter to butter my baking pans.

Strawberry & Almond Bread
Slightly Adapted from Fruit By Nancie McDermott
Copied with a permission from the publisher

Ingredients
2 cups whole strawberries
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs, beaten well



Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Oil two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
3. Coarsely chop strawberries, place them in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
5. Incorporate nuts and strawberries into the flour mixture.
6. In a separate bowl combine oil with the eggs and incorporate them into the flour/strawberries/nut mixture until you can't see the flour bits.
{NOTE: at this point the batter looked more like cookie dough, which made me very nervous, but magically the bread puffed up in the oven and turned out delicious!}
7. Divide the batter between two loaf pans and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean.
8. Cool the loaves inside the pan on a cooling wrack before turning them over.



This bread had such a lovely aroma! I really liked the combination of strawberries and almonds with a slight hint of cinnamon. Use this recipe as a template and experiment with other fruit such as peaches and blueberries or figs! Let your imagination run wild.



This would be a great dessert to slice and freeze, but I decided to bring it to work and share with a few coworkers, to their great delight.

Disclaimer: I was sent this book for review purposes free of charge, but not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

6/19/17

Pineapple, Plum & Basil Sorbet: Perfect Summer Dessert

 Looking for a ridiculously easy, refreshing and delicious Summer dessert? Make my Pineapple, Plum & Basil Sorbet.


Last week I went to visit my friends Sylvie and Marshall and wanted to bring something for dessert. I had a pineapple from my latest order of Washington's Green Grocer and for a second considered baking a pineapple upside down cake. Alas I did not have all the necessary ingredients and also did not want all the unnecessary calories.

Why not SORBET!? I found a recipe from Cooking Light and decided to add plums and basil. Ta da!


Pineapple, Plum & Basil Sorbet
Ingredients
flesh of 1 pineapple
4 plums, pits removed
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar



Directions
1. Puree pineapple chunks with plums, basil and lemon juice until smooth.
2. Add sugar and puree for a minute or so until the sugar dissolves.
3. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions.
4. Freeze the sorbet in a freezer-safe container for at least a few hours.
5. Serve topped with fresh basil.


This sorbet took almost no time or effort, but is so impressive! The basil really comes through and the texture is lovely. I bet this would be good on a bottom of a glass topped with sparkling rose or drizzled with reduced balsamic.



6/15/17

Indoor Plants: Birds of Paradise. Condo Living.


If you follow me on instagram, you know I love flowers and plants as much as I love food.

Last night I finally bought a big plant I've been thinking about buying for months. This gorgeous Birds of Paradise plant is from Little Leaf Shop. It was quite a blast fitting it into an Uber, but I managed ;)

Do you love how colorful my TV credenza is? All the colors of the rainbow, plus a new orchid from Trader Joe's and beautiful peonies.

Let's cross our fingers the plant lives a very long life!

6/12/17

Meatless Monday: Spinach, Corn & Peach Salad

It's too hot to cook!!! Today I am sharing another one of my favorite big ass salads with you: Meatless Monday Spinach, Corn & Peach Salad.


Spinach, Corn & Peach Salad

You really don't even need a recipe for this salad, so I'll give you a few steps/suggestions.

1) Wash and dry spinach leaves. Depending on the size of spinach, you may want to tear the leaves. Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.
2) Cut off corn kernels and saute in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3). Top dressed spinach with sauteed corn kernels, sliced juicy sweet peaches, cured black olives and shaved Parmesan.

This is such a satisfying salad. You have the sweet corn and peaches, the salty olives and Parmesan all playing together on one platter. What more could you want?

6/7/17

Quick Dinner Or Fancy Appetizer: Grilled Potatoes With Smoked Salmon & Black Caviar


Do you need a quick dinner idea or a fancy appetizer that requires minimum cooking and is yet flavorful, satisfying, and pretty to look at? If you said yes, make my Grilled Potatoes With Smoked Salmon & Black Caviar.

1) Brush sliced potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and grill until tender: you can do it outside or in the oven or in a Panini maker.
2) Allow potatoes to cool slightly. 
3) Add thin slices of cucumbers and radishes and season lightly with salt.
4) Top with smoked salmonfull fat Greek yogurt, black caviar and dill.
5) Serve with a Bloody Mary ;)