If you are ever thinking to yourself that you need to get more veggies into your diet, I have one excellent suggestion: buy a colorful vegan cookbook.
(What, Melissa? This is a strange way to begin a post that is mentions salmon in the title…which is most definitely not vegan.)
I’ve become kind of obsessed with cauliflower.
Lately, I’ve been eating it almost every day, with beet hummus, for breakfast scrambled with eggs, instead of rice with Indian food.
And then Sarah and I decided to combine our powers for good and make a colorful, healthy lunch totally based on cauliflower.
I am NOT on the low-carb bandwagon. Wheat would have to go extinct for me to give it up for the rest of my life. Despite these truths, I really love replacing grains with cauliflower.
Here’s the thing. I am the type of person who wants to spend time eating. It’s hard for me to feel “done” eating if my plate is clean in five minutes or less, even if I’ve actually had enough calories to fill me up. This is why vegetables, and cauliflower specifically, are amazing. More volume for less calories, longer meals with less overeating just because I still have the munchies.
This rainbow bowl is delicious and surprising. There are a lot of components, but all together they make an incredibly satisfying meal!
Don’t you love dinner salads? And lunch salads? And salads in general?
I have been really craving some salmon salad lately. So I made some.
You should, too. That is all.
Have I mentioned to you that my brother is working in Africa for the summer? This has nothing whatsoever to do with gribiche or purple potatoes, except that in his absence, his excellent girlfriend decided to get to know the family better (!).
So last week, she came armed with books to read to Jake and very graciously and happily entertained him while my mom cuddled Caitlin and I made lunch.
I fretted quite a bit over what to serve her: it had to be something simple but interesting (because someone mentioned that I was a good cook…thus knocking PB&J out of the running…), and of course it had to be wheat- and dairy-free for my mom! For days I pondered what to make, hemming and hawing until I thought I would have to serve grocery-store-salad-bar salad, and then I whipped out my copy of Super Natural Every Day and I was saved by the first recipe I saw!
This simple dish of roasted veggies and eggy dressing was delicious! It is a full meal all on the same plate, with protein, carbs, and veggies all mixed together. We basically licked the serving plate clean. I know I will be making this salad again and again.
(And lest you think I am an overachiever for trying a new recipe especially to impress, let me just admit that I served five kinds of random leftovers for dinner, so I am not really earning any A’s for Effort here….)
For the last several weeks, we have been scraping by in our house with random odds and ends and leftovers. I have taken to looking into my fridge around 6:00 and hurriedly cobbling together something for dinner…or else calling Dominos.
As I am now well into my third trimester with a toddler who seems to grow in energy and volume every day (not to mention the fact that we are potty training and this basically means I spend my entire life chasing him around and trying to sit him on the toilet), I think this is a totally acceptable status. I am just not that excited about foods that require actual planning ahead, things that follow recipes and can be photographed.
And even though I have a bunch of recipes stored up to share with you, things cooked during random spurts of energy and culinary creativity, I am just having such a hard time sitting down in front of my computer to write about them. My enthusiasm for naps and decorating the nursery just outweighs my enthusiasm for food right now.
Thankfully, Sarah of Well Dined came to my rescue recently with this amazing lentil salad! She suggested a day and a time and then graciously bought all of the ingredients that weren’t already in my pantry and showed up at my house to cook. Thank God for friends!
This salad is yummy! And healthy. (It totally counteracts all that ice cream I have been eating.) And the best part? It makes absolutely a ton of food, so you won’t have to cook for at least two more days!
Are you overwhelmed with tomatoes yet? Overflowing with bell peppers?
I really prefer to eat the bounty of summer produce I have been bringing in from my tiny garden and the farmer’s market raw. In their most honest and nutritious and juiciest form. But really…how many tomato sandwiches can one girl eat? (In case you were wondering…the answer is about four per week. Not that I’m counting.)
If we are going to keep up with the greedy volume of fresh fruits and veggies of the summer, we are going to have to get serious. And make a huge bread salad.
What? You don’t think bread should intrude further into salads than the occasional crouton!? Are you mad!?
This panzanella is seriously delicious. The crisped bread absorbs just enough of the tomato juices and sharp dressing to become luxurious, and the hearty base makes the whole meal toothsome and filling. You should make it right away!
Sarah and I are really trying to be health conscious. We are resisting the lure of…well, lots of things. We are embracing lentils! We are eating things raw! We are taking walks with a toddler who loves to watch birds and teenagers playing basketball—and anything else that starts with the letter b.
I mean, really, we are willing to do anything as long as there is some kind of cheese involved somewhere.
But even so, I admit I was a little skeptical about a salad made of both lentils and chickpeas. (Isn’t that a lot of protein? Where is the greenery? Where are the grainy carbs?)
Don’t be fooled. This salad is delicious (and, P.S., the leftovers were even better than the first serving)! You will be glad you tried it.
Besides, lettuce isn’t even in season yet. So it’s still totally fair to make salads mainly from dry goods, right? Right.
Kale is beautiful.
I bought some kale a few weeks ago at the farmer’s market so I could make a kale salad. I was so excited! Sarah came over and she got excited, too! But the recipe I had was a little weirdly written…and to make a long story short, there was too much dressing. Tooooooo much. Slimy kale salad. Gross.
But I got kale two weeks in a row from CSA! So I tried again!
You may be scared of raw kale. But I promise, this salad is delicious! Just try it. I know you’ll be glad you did!
We have been getting a lot of fall squashes from the CSA! At least two per week, usually weighing in over 1 lb. apiece.
Good thing I love fall squash!
It’s also been fun to get to know some of the different varieties. Normally, I am a butternut-acorn-pumpkin girl, but now I am learning about kabocha, buttercup, carnival, and the lovely delicata.
This is an amazing recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks: Super Natural Every Day. I love that the curry isn’t too spicy, but it perfectly complements the sweetness of the squash. Plus, this meal is so healthy! It combines fresh potatoes and kale, which are also in season right now from the CSA, with fall squash and tofu: Perfect nutritional balance of brightly colored veggies, complex carbs, and protein.
(And the best part was that Dave loved it, despite the kale and squash, which he typically hates! He hoarded all of the leftovers to himself…I’m just saying.)