One of my favorite bloggers, and now cookbook authors, is Deb Perelman who writes Smitten Kitchen. I’ve made a lot of recipes from her blog over the years, and I’ve loved every single thing. So I was really excited to try out the recipes in her cookbook, which my mom got me for Christmas. I was so fired up, I wanted to make something right when we got back to town, before I’d had time to go through and plan what to buy. Based on the ingredients I had, I was able to adapt one of her salads into my own creation. And although I’m sure the original version is scrumptious, my salad turned out delicious as well. This week is the third week in a row that we are having this for dinner. And for those of you looking for a new cookbook, I highly recommend picking this one up (I think my mom found it at Costco).
The next post in my series of healthy but hearty dinners is loaded sweet potatoes. These are very easy to make and work as a great leftover lunch the next day as well. You could also alter the toppings if you don’t like some of the ones I used, or if you just want to clean out your cupboard/fridge.
For lunch, I love something fast. On weekdays, I need something I can easily take with me to work/school, and on the weekends, I’m normally busy and grabbing lunch in between errands or after getting back from a workout class. It doesn’t get much easier than an open faced turkey sandwich. No really. Here I’ll prove it. Place a yummy piece of bread on a plate (I recommend some sort of artisan bread, not just your typical loaf of sandwich bread). Place a few pieces of turkey on top, followed by cheese if you want it, but not necessary. Top with a handful of arugula, a few spoonfuls of salsa and slices of avocado. And that’s it. Fresh, delicious, and took less than five minutes to prepare.
At a dinner party this summer, our friends made an amazing spicy cucumber gazpacho that I wanted to recreate. I decided it would be the perfect thing to take to jazz in the sculpture garden on a humid Friday night. But as luck would have it, jazz got rained out. But we still really enjoyed this soup. We ate it for dinner with some garlic bread, but you could also serve it as a light summer appetizer.
Growing up in California, I ate a lot of home grown squash, zucchini, and eggplant. In the summers, people with big gardens were basically giving these vegetables away because they had so many. So I thought I’d seen most of the ways to use these guys.
But last summer, I discovered a new great recipe to use any extra zucchinis – zucchini fritters. And I’ve started making them again almost every week.
I’m all for the easy salad. Lately, we’ve been eating a lot of them (still making up for our trip to Charleston and in preparation of a vacation where we’ll be spending a lot of time in suits). My newest favorite salad involves spinach, bacon, caramelized onions, apple, blue cheese, candied pecans, and a balsamic dressing. I love the combination of flavors!
I was introduced to a farm out in Maryland a few years back where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables, and ever since then I have been making the trip up there regularly. In the spring and summer, it’s to pick boxes and boxes of my own berries and peaches. In the fall, it’s to stock up on apples, pumpkins, gourds, and other amazing fall vegetables.
We made our annual October trip up there recently and spent way too much money on apples. Now that I have all of these apples, I have been trying to get creative with how to use them. On a recent perfect fall Saturday, I decided to use them in one of my all time favorite, all-American meals—tomato soup with grilled cheese. It was perfect on a day when it was just a bit chilly outside, but not so cold that you had to be stuck inside. I used the creamy tomato soup from Trader Joe’s and then for the grilled cheese, I did white cheddar with sliced fuji apple on whole wheat bread. Oh my god. So simple, so easy, and yet so delicious. Dave opted for bacon instead of apple, which also made for a delicious sandwich.