Kale Salmon Caesar Salad

Kale salmon caesar is a metaphor for my entire marriage.

It represents a blending of taste buds and nutritional ideals, a desire for simplicity and for dinner around the table together.

To be honest, drenching salmon in caesar dressing is one of the only ways I can get every member of my family to eat it. I call it a win.

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Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

Last week, I made these amazing beet burgers. Beets are lovely, aren’t they? I think beets are the most beautiful color in the whole world. But…I have to admit that I really hate to eat them plain. I’ve tried them in salads with goat cheese and soaked in butter and horseradish sauce. But my favorite beets are definitely those diced small and mixed well with other flavors.

As I was contemplating what to do with the lonely, leftover beet in my crisper, I suddenly remembered a batch of beet hummus Dave’s aunt had made at Christmas, and I immediately got excited.

This hummus is a little earthy and a little tangy, and full of gorgeous pink. Eat it with a huge handful of bright, raw vegetables and you will feel like you are on cloud nine.

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Rye Spaetzle with Spring Veggies

Rye Spaetzle with Spring Veggies

I was a ripe 13-year-old when I first took a formal German class. Middle schoolers are delighted by the idea of pretending to be someone they are not, so it probably comes as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed picking out a German name to go by. (I’m still a little sad that this tradition is falling by the wayside. P.S., my “German” name was Andrea.)

Before I share the next tidbit from my early German career, let me first apologize to everyone named Günter, and all German women and German people in general. Because, you see, as my equally pimpled friends and I perused the list of German names in our textbooks, we were struck by how funny they sounded. For some reason, our mirth centered on the name Günter, as we pictured a ruddy and rotund, aproned German mother calling for her son out the front door while stirring a very large bowl of dough.

We, unfortunately, spent the rest of the year pretending to stir invisible bowls of dough and giggling.

This image popped back into my head as Sarah and I were wrestling with the bowl of spaetzle dough.

And, by the way: it’s pronounced “sh-paytes-luh.” Don’t let me hear you calling it “spatsl.”

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Cheesy Spinach and Green Chile Enchiladas

Cheesy Spinach and Green Chile Enchiladas

Remember how I hatched a plot to eat greens at every meal?

Yeah…desserts kind of got in the way of that healthy plan. But you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I am still trying to focus on the greenery as much as possible!

So this month for the Secret Recipe Club challenge, I decided to take a recipe for green chile enchiladas—which sounded heavenly—and green them up!

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Broccolini Melts

Broccolini Melts

Have I mentioned my obsession with open-face sandwiches?

This broccolini melt is so amazing on so many levels. Not only is it full of bright green goodness, for which your body thanks you, but it is savory and cheesy and garlicky and a little lemony…in short, it is delicious. All delis should throw out their tuna melts and serve this instead.

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Easy Cheese Danish

Easy Cheese Danish

My husband has been asking to make cheese danish for years.

You’d think I would have taken him up on that right away! I love to bake. I love to be bossy in the kitchen. I love cheese danish.

But for some reason, I felt intimidated. Do you ever feel paralyzed by the desire to do something absolutely perfectly the first time, to find the right recipe and execute it just right, and make the most delicious thing anyone has ever tasted?

I had made croissants exactly once: they were a lot of work, and in the end, they were only fine. Fine! How dare they. I knew that cheese danish was in danger of turning out the same way, so I put them on the back burner.

But this month, when I was cruising through Renee’s Kitchen Adventures for my Secret Recipe Club challenge, I spotted a cheese danish recipe…and I knew I would have to go for it. This recipe is somewhat unusual, as it uses puff pastry instead of a typical laminated, yeasted dough! This had the potential to be way simpler, and equally as delicious. Plus, I have been all about puff pastry lately.

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Quinoa and Chickpea Tortilla Soup

Quinoa Chickpea Tortilla Soup

When I was a kid, my mom used to make this amazing white chili. It was a football season/New Year’s Eve tradition for us.

My brother and I totally loved it, because we always ate this chili with a mountain of Cool Ranch Doritos (old school flavors are best, baby) and an avalanche of shredded cheddar cheese on top. I remember my dad crushing the chips into little shards with his big bear hands, like they were nothing, and piling them into our bowls.

One of the great tragedies of being a vegetarian now is that for years, I haven’t had that chips-in-my-soup experience.

Until I stumbled across a vegetarian recipe for tortilla soup!

This soup is so tasty, and it just gets better and better with time. I actually recommend eating it left over (is that weird?) because the flavors keep building.

Just like the nostalgia.

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Lemongrass Coconut Noodles with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Lemongrass Coconut NoodlesWhen my mom comes to visit, I get kind of excited.

For obvious reasons! She’s the best!

But also because her visits pull me out of my dinner ruts. She doesn’t eat wheat or dairy, so sometimes I have to get really creative to make meals that we can all enjoy! (We eat a lot of Asian cuisines.)

I was a little skeptical about this pasta at first, because I don’t typically love savory coconut without its best friends chili and curry. When I tasted the broth halfway through, I heaved a great sigh of disappointment that it was weird and bland despite its bursting tomatoes and lemongrass.

But dinner must go on (the natives were hungry), and so must I. And much to my surprise, after I added in a generous splash of lime juice and fish sauce, the boring and vaguely sweet coconut sauce turned into this amazing, tangy, practically drinkable concoction.

A symphony of flavors.

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Crab Quinoa Salad with Lemon Butter

Crab Quinoa Salad with Lemon Butter

When I was a kid, my family went out to eat about once a month, and for a long time, we almost always went to Red Lobster.

I learned quite young that crab meat dripping with drawn butter is amazing. My parents graciously let me steal chunks of crab from their plates and didn’t complain when I dipped more finger than crab into the warm butter.

Let’s all agree that we love crabs and we love butter, okay?

As Sarah and I were thinking about what to cook this week, we just knew that throwing some sweet crab meat into a bowl of mixed quinoa would result in something delicious! This quinoa salad is full of buttery, lemony pieces of King crab legs, garlic, creamy avocado, and fresh herbs. It will make your house smell unmistakeably like Red Lobster, and it will put a smile on your face!

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