First of all, I want to say how happy I am to be back blogging (if you don’t know where I was, read this). Spending a week at the beach doing very little besides reading, napping, and eating gave me lots of time to do some thinking and planning for the blog. So get excited for a summer full of yummy recipes.
Ok, now onto today’s post. After nine days of heavy meals, I returned to DC very excited to eat light, healthy summer fruits and vegetables. It also just so happened that for my first night back, I was having a friend over for dinner who was about to leave for a work trip to Afghanistan (and thus would be missing out on all the same fruits and veggies I was craving). So in honor of this, I put together the following spread:
– Homemade Pesto (with basil from our garden) and Smashed Tomatoes served on Toasted French Bread
– A Lemon Kale Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
– A Cauliflower and Garbanzo Bean Salad
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.
This week’s favorite meal of the week post is all about the grapefruit. I have always liked grapefruits, but I’ve recently remembered why they are so great. They seem to be the only sweet (and relatively inexpensive fruit) right now. In college, they were sometimes the best fruit in the dining hall at this time of year. And right now, they seem to be the best fruit at TJ’s (the berries are too expensive, the apples and oranges are bad, and it’s too early for a lot of other good things).
Today’s meal is a mixed green salad with grapefruit wedges, goat cheese, and candied pecans with a honey dressing. Pretty simple, and nice and light for the summer.
For anybody who has lived with me (especially in my single days), you know that I used to subsist on a combination of tortillas, black beans, hummus, spinach and salsa for a good portion of my meals. I’d throw in some other random items when I had them in the fridge, but the majority of the week, I’d saute some spinach and throw it, plus some salsa, black beans and hummus into a flour tortilla and call it dinner. Fast, easy, and pretty healthy.But as you know, I’ve tried to up my dinner game since moving in with Dave. And while I have definitely upgraded, I still have to go back to my roots every once in a while. The difference is that now, I get slightly more creative about what I throw in the mix, and I take the extra five minutes to turn this deliciousness into a quesadilla instead of just throwing it in a cold tortilla. So in honor of Cinco de Mayo last weekend, here are a few of my favorite combinations for quesadillas (or dillas as they are lovingly called in our house).
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!
This is another easy, healthy dinner. I’m posting it in honor of the health kick I need to go on after all the eating I did in the last 10 days of vacation. I was in NYC for a friend’s bridal shower, then in Charleston with Dave and my parents, and then in DC with my parents. And oh my god, did we eat well. So much amazing food!
So to combat all that good southern BBQ, I am sharing another one of my favorite healthy dinners. The other great thing about this recipe is that it also involves very few ingredients (mostly stuff you already have in the kitchen), which I love. The chicken takes about 15 minutes to prep, and then 50 minutes to cook, and then I just served ours with some broccoli that I’d sauteed on the stove for a few minutes in a little bit of olive oil (you could also do a tablespoon or two of butter). Very low maintenance dinner! You could probably even throw some veggies in the pan with the chicken if you wanted to make it even easier!
I tend to stay away from tuna. I’ve cemented the idea in my ahead that mercury is bad and, therefore, I can’t eat it. In reality, as long as you don’t eat it regularly, you’re probably fine. Dave recently found this recipe and I gave in to trying it. And oh my god, so glad. It’s delicious and very easy to make. We’ve made it part of our regular dinner rotation!
A few weeks ago, I volunteered to have some of our friends over for dinner on the same day that I planned to participate in a bottomless mimosa brunch with friends who were in town visiting. After making the plans, I realized that this was going to make things interesting. I’m not used to preparing a full dinner and dessert after a day of drinking. So when picking out my menu, it was all about finding something that could be done the day before and/or required very little last minute preparation. To find inspiration, I turned to one of my favorite blogs – Smitten Kitchen. I’d been eyeing a couple of her recipes and decided to use several of them for this dinner.
Here is what I pulled together:
1) Blood Orange Margaritas (recipe here
2) Veggies and Hummus & Crackers and Cheese (all from Trader Joes)
3) Flank Steak and Bloody Mary Salad (recipe here)
4) Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust (recipe on this blog here
This week I wanted to share one of my new favorite meals with you. It’s from a cookbook my grandmother gave Dave this summer. All of the different flavors in this salad are really what make it great. Plus it’s pretty easy to make!
This salad is one of my favorites for nights when I want something healthy and fast. Although it makes for a great dinner during the summer, it is also good in the winter when you’re still craving something light and flavorful!