Spinach Berry Salad with Curry Dressing

Tuesday night I attended an amazing yoga class (more on that tomorrow). I didn’t have too much time beforehand to eat a real dinner, so I left the class rejuvenated…and hungry! I was craving something light but flavorful, and remembered a recipe I found online a couple weeks ago but had never tried. Luckily my weekly farmer’s market visit’s ensured that I had all the ingredients.

 

I followed this recipe more or less, and was happy with the result. It yielded a dynamic and fresh salad. I liked the contrast between the lightness and sweetness of the berries with the deeper flavors of the curry dressing.

 

 

Today I am on the road again for client meetings. I am still so very sore from yoga, therefore  the goal of today is to not look like an eighty year old as I walk around. I think I will be okay as long as  I don’t need to kneel beside someone or have to reach for something high on a shelf.  🙂

Healthy Summer Recipe Round-up

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I rounded up some of my favorite summer potluck recipes that have been featured on the blog. If you have other favorite summertime recipes, feel free to add a link in the comments.

Salads

Fresh Spinach and Barley Salad

Main Dishes

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Lemon Edemame Pasta

Desserts

Summer Berry Terrine

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

Drinks

Kath’s Iced Coffee

Carrot Ginger Smoothie

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I am also a Featured Blogger on Fitblogger today! You can read the feature piece here

Apple Raisin Kale Salad

I have another great summer salad today!

I made kale chips earlier in the week, but I had over half the bag of kale left. I decided to give raw kale salads a second chance, and pulled together this apple raisin salad. A couple months ago I stopped forcing myself to eat raw kale because I just hated it. But every so often I think about giving it another chance, and I just happened to be in the mood for a heartier salad.

I actually don’t mind eating this kale salad, and tastes much better the second day-not a usual occurrence for salads! But the tough kale absorbs some of the oil and vinegar, and become a lot more palatable (this is coming from someone who does not prefer raw kale, can you tell? ;)).

Apple Raisin Kale Salad

Makes 4 side dish servings

Ingredients

2 cups raw kale, chopped

1/2 apple (use a sweeter variety like Fuji, Gala, or Honey Crisp), thinly sliced

3 Tbsp raisins

Dressing

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

salt

Directions:

Look over the kale and remove any thick stems.  Wisk together oil, vinegar and salt. Pour dressing over salad, and massage it into the kale. Add apple slices and raisins; toss to combine. For best flavor and texture let sit overnight.

Are you a kale enthusiast? What’s the best way to prepare it?

Simple Greek Salad

Moving and settling into my new apartment in the Charlotte area is going well. Most of my ikea furniture has been assembled, and all of my clothes are out of the boxes. I’ll be back with a  settling in post on Sunday, because today I want to share a recipe for one of the summer staples at my home growing up. My mom would make this simple Greek salad almost weekly in the summer when we had access to delicious home grown tomatoes. Although we do have a chicken coop, unfortunately we don’t have anything but a herb garden in the yard. So we have to rely on neighbors and the farmers market for fresh, local produce. Since this recipe comes from my mom, I have to share her advice that this salad is exclusively for tomatoes in season. Don’t even think of making this recipe with store-bought vegetables shipped from miles away! It just won’t be the same.

The juice of the tomatoes combines perfectly with the drizzle of olive oil and feta crumbles for a flavorful, light dressing. The cucumbers add a nice crunch to the cool summer salad. Double the recipe and bring it for cookouts and barbecues.

Simple Greek Salad

serves 4 (side dish portions)

Ingredients

2 large tomatoes

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/8 onion (about 1/4 of a cup), thinly sliced

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

Cut the tomatoes into bite size chunks. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a large bowl. Mix in the olive oil and feta. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving.

Guest Post: A Low Carb Meal from C.J.

I am excited to introduce my second guest blogger-C.J. from Food Stories. I love talking to her via comments and emails- she is such a sweetheart. Her posts implement national food holidays to share low carb recipes and stories about food. Also her blog layout is incredible; you can tell that she used used to write websites professionally! You should definitely check it out 🙂

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Hello … I am C.J. from Food Stories (http://www.foodstoriesblog.com) and I am so excited to be joining you today. I’ve only been blogging for a few months and this is my very first guest post. It will be hard to contain my excitement but I will try 🙂 Thank you Erin for extending this opportunity.

Just so you know a little bit about me, I am a 40 something, married female that lives on the west coast of the United States. I love food and all things food related. Being a nurse, I especially like the food science/nutritional aspect of food, as well as, typical food preparation, recipes and eating (of course). Consuming fresh, natural, whole and unprocessed food is probably the way that most people should be eating. Unfortunately, I’m a Type II Diabetic so I have to use some processed items to make my diet even half way palatable. Balancing natural foods along with low carb can be daunting but I work hard at it and do my best.

When Erin asked me about doing the guest post, I got so excited that I immediately started pouring over all my recipes to pick something great. With this being my first guest post, I didn’t want to let anyone down so I decided to do a three course meal. Knowing that not everyone eats low carb, this gave me a great excuse to try to balance some of the meal components out. Read that as making and enjoying a carb-y dessert (grin). Dear hubby loves when we do that! So in my excitement, I ran to the store and started buying everything. There was even a little kitchen section with some cute dishes and I found some great little baking dishes. I didn’t have anything in mind but I bought them because I just might need them someday.

So as I’m checking out, the lady ringing me up looks at my little dishes and says, “are these oven safe?” I replied that I didn’t know. She seemed kind of obsessed and kept looking. She then asked the guy checker next to her and they both started looking. The guy that came over said, “boy, these would be great with my french onion soup recipe”. The lady at my check stand looked stunned and said, “you cook?”. He said, “sure” and he whipped out his phone to search for the pictures. As he was looking, I said, “are you a food blogger?” and he said, “yes, why do you ask?” I replied that I didn’t know too many people that carried around their dinner pictures from the previous night except for my online foodie friends. He thought that was hilarious and said he suspected I was a blogger too because no one buys those silly dishes in the grocery store except for “us”. As the three of us bonded over french onion soup pictures, the line started backing up so we had to break it up and get back to the business at hand. It was just such a funny experience because food bloggers are everywhere!

The three course meal that I prepared especially for you came from the ingredients acquired during this shopping adventure and it was well worth it.

For a starter, we have marinated zucchini salad.

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Marinated Zucchini Salad
Ingredients:
1 pound zucchini, sliced as thinly as possible
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, smashed or pressed
salt and pepper as desired
Directions:
Place zucchini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a large bowl.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
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For an entree we have veggie cheese squares
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Veggie Cheese Squares
Ingredients:
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
4 eggs
1 cup soy milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Directions:
In a large skillet, saute broccoli and red pepper in oil.
Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
Spoon into a 9-in. greased square baking dish.
In another large bowl, combine the eggs milk, 3/4 cup cheese, thyme and salt.
Pour over the broccoli mixture.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
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 For dessert, we have no sugar added apple turnovers.
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No Sugar Added Apple Turnovers
Ingredients:
1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
1 can no sugar added apple pie filling
Directions:
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Unroll pie crust onto sheet pan.
Drain pie filling of most of the liquid in the can.
Spread about 1/2 to 3/4 of the fruit onto the pie crust.
Grab one side of pie filling and pull over the fruit to lay on the bottom edge of the filling.
Crimp filling with fork to seal edges.
Cut a few slits into the top pie crust.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
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Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens

For some reason, I cannot think about beets without thinking about Dwight from The Office.

I love the show, and his character’s obsession with his beet farm is hilarious. He has a huge beet farm that he owns and operates with his crazy cousin. I just can not take beets seriously because all the other characters on the show make fun of the vegetable to get a reaction from Dwight.

But after making this salad, I definitely have insight into Dwight’s adoration of his beets. They are quite delicious!

I roasted three or four beets, but only used one for the salad. The greens to beet ratio is definitely lacking on the greens. If you are making this for more than two, I would suggest beefing up the beet greens with kale or whatever suits you.

Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens

makes two side dish portions

adapted from Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta

Ingredients

3 medium-large beets with greens

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp capers, chopped and drained

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Cut greens off beets and reserve tops. Put the beets in a oiled pan and bake  for 45 minutes to an hour, until beets are tender.

Whisk oil, vinegar, capers, and garlic together.

Peel beets. Halve beets and slice thinly. Cover with 1/2 dressing.

Rinse the greens and remove the stems. Allow some water to stay on the leaves. Place in a large pot on high heat. Stir the greens until wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and toss with remaining dressing.

Arrange the greens and beets on a plate and top with crumbled feta.

Helpful products:

This little battery powered whisk makes dressing way easier to blend

Trader Joe’s sells these little frozen garlic cubes that are so convenient! They are perfectly portioned and eliminate the extra time of peeling and mincing garlic.