Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with Caramelized Shallots, Toasted Almonds, and Goat Cheese

Dear readers, I am sorry for my recent lack of posts. My excuses: very busy, no internet, oven broken…you get the idea. πŸ™‚ But hopefully you’ll forgive me, because this is one fantastic salad. In fact, maybe one of the best I’ve made.

I don’t know about you, but ever year when September hits, I go through the same mildly traumatic realization: No peaches or berries or melons all winter?! But then I’m distracted by pumpkins and squashes and I get excited again. But consider this a last attempt to savor those perfect summer peaches before they disappear completely from the produce stands.

Also…my excuses about were actually true, including my broken oven. Until my landlord responds, you’ll be seeing lots of raw and stove-top only recipes from me. πŸ˜‰

Also note: I don’t have a grill, so I used my handy countertop George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. If you have an outdoor grill or something similar, that will be just perfect.

Ingredients

Makes 2 medium salads

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 ripe peach
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds (can use raw, but toasted adds a nice flavor touch)
  • 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup
  • pinch of cinnamon, to taste (don’t omit! This really makes the salad)

Directions

Slice the peach into slices about 1/4 inch thick.

Grill the slices until soft and juicy, according to your grill’s instructions (see note above.) Meanwhile, chop the almonds and slice the shallot.

To caramelize the shallot, heat 1 tsp of the honey and a tiny bit of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until they are soft and, well, caramelized. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, remaining 1 tsp of honey,and cinnamon. Adjust to taste. When the peaches and shallots are done cooking, assemble the salads – add the arugula as the base, then top with the peaches, shallots, goat cheese, and almonds. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Enjoy!

What seasonal fruits and vegetables will you miss most about summer?

 

Horseradish Garlic Tiny Potato Salad

The “tiny” here refers to the size of the potatoes, not the portion size you’ll eat. πŸ˜‰ One of my favorite things about summer barbecues is the potato salad. This is a nice twist on a classic dish, just a lot more spicy! You could use a smaller amount of horseradish, or sub yellow mustard for dijon if you want a milder flavor. Green beans will be lovely in place of the asparagus too! You also could use a different potato…I just wanted to experiment with something new.

I added 2 tsp of fresh thyme too, but I think it was drowned out in the presence of the horseradish and garlic! Maybe I’ll do a dijon-thyme potato salad later.

Ingredients

Serves 2-3

  • 1 1/2 cup tiny potatoes
  • 12 stalks asparagus (1 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 2 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs mayonnaise or non-dairy mayo
  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp horseradish (to taste)
  • 1 plump clove garlic, minced or put through a press

Directions

Chop the potatoes.

Boil in water in a large pot over medium-high heat until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the asparagus and steam them until they are soft but bright green.

(I actually stuck them in a steam basket over the boiling potatoes! Yay for double tasking) In large bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. When the potatoes and asparagus are done, add the to the bowl as well. (I chopped the potatoes first).

Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy! It’s even more garlic-y as leftovers. πŸ™‚

Lemon Chili Tempeh

I love it when people ask me about my vegetarian diet. “Where do you get your protein?” is a particular favorite of mine. And for those of you wondering, it’s super easy! Eating a variety of whole foods will assuredly give you enough protein without giving it much effort. And it’s easy to ensure that protein is high quality, complete amino acid profile too!

That being said though, I do love a solid protein-dense meal. In fact, I think I eat more protein than nearly all the meat-eaters I know! I’m a distance runner and I definitely notice a difference in how I feel when I eat enough protein and fats. I’m always on the lookout for protein-centric recipes, and this one is one of the best I’ve been experimenting with. Tempeh especially is my FAVORITE source of protein.

Nothin’ like a good ol’ slab of protein!

Ingredients

  • 1 8-oz package tempeh
  • 1/4 cup +2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp chili powder (to taste)
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 plump clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 tsp dried ground ginger (1 tbs fresh ginger would be better)
  • 2 tbs diced onion
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds
  • red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste

Directions

First, steam the tempeh block for 10-20 minutes above boiling water. Meanwhile, whisk all other ingredients together and pour into a shallow baking dish. When the tempeh is finished steaming andΒ  is cool enough to handle, slice it and add it to the marinade.

Cover while the tempeh is still warm and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. (Note: I let it sit overnight in the fridge.) Bake at 400 degrees F until the tempeh is golden and the marinade is evaporated, about 15-20 minutes.

Serve over rice or other grain, in a burrito, with fresh or steamed kale and avocado (shown), etc.

Enjoy!

Do any of you food bloggers have a favorite vegetarian protein recipe? I’d love to try yours!

Easy Ginger Spiced Pears

I think it is finally autumn enough to publish this. Maybe. It is kind of an Indian summer around here though. Oh well, it’s always the right time for ginger!

!

 

Ingredients

Serves 1-2

  • 1 pear, halved (bosc or bartlett will be fine, though I think bosc might be a little better)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 tbs crystallized ginger, diced
  • pinch of dried powdered ginger

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. (You can also use the microwave, thought it won’t get browned) Halve the pear and scoop out the seeds.

In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.Β  Fill the pear cavities with the ricotta mixture. Top with the diced ginger and sprinkle some extra cinnamon and ginger if you want. Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Or microwave for 1 minute, or until the pear is soft. Enjoy!

5 Min Lunch: Simple White Bean Salad with Artichokes and Parsley

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! Mine was wonderful, too. I figured I’d publish a quick ‘n’ easy recipe this morning because, if you are anything like me, cooking as you get back into the work week feels like way too much work.

But first, look what I got for FREE from Sur La Table! These little beauties were already marked down steeply ($15 $10 $8 $5) and combined with an awesome coupon I had, I walked out feeling pretty proud of my little find. I had to picture them here of course. After all, what good are beautiful ceramic measuring spoons if not to look at them? πŸ˜‰ My favorite part – the pattern is called “Paris Poodle!”

Speaking of my cheapskate ways – I am trying to rekindle my love of beans. You see, in college, beans pretty much comprised 80% of my diet. They were about all my dirt-broke-college-student budget could afford! So now I’m still a little burned out on beans, but am finding ideas that are exciting enough to stave off bean boredom.

This recipe did just that! In my sweet husband’s words, upon finishing: “My only regret is that I can’t eat them all over again.” Good sign. πŸ™‚

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 15-oz can white beans, or 1.5-2 cups cooked
  • 1-2 tbs red onion, diced
  • optional: 1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar (and/or lemon juice)
  • 2-3 tbs fresh parsley
  • 5-6 pieces marinated artichoke hearts (I used 1/2 small jar of Cara Mia brand)
  • Salt and plenty of freshly milled black pepper to taste

Directions

Just mix everything up! Adjust seasonings to taste.

I just realized this is really just a recipe for white bean artichoke dip, but not run through a processor. Ha! Enjoy!