Sunday, July 19, 2009

Arugula, Feta, and Watermelon Salad

I lied.
I need to do one last, quick post before I spend two weeks floating in Lake Lida.

It appears that people giving me free, fresh food is becoming a trend. I like it. This week at work, I went to a picnic lunch for the city's public service workers. They had the sweetest, yummiest watermelon there and when I raved about it, the Park Superintendent insisted I take home an uneaten half. Then, Marney and Colin gifted their weekly CSA box to me, full of fabulous veggies like beets, chard, arugula, fennel, and herbs.

Tonight I combined these lovely food gifts into a fabulous and pretty salad. It's the kind of fancy supper I would expect to be served at a hoity-toity spa resort or something. There are so many textures and flavors going on that it's an adventure to eat - sweet melon, salty feta, licorice-y fennel, and spicy arugula. It works very well together!

Arugula, Feta, and Watermelon Salad
French Feta, crumbled
Fennel, shaved
Slivered almonds, toasted (would be better with sunflower seeds but I was out)
Salt and pepper
Red wine vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Assemble first 5 ingredients on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little red wine vinegar and olive oil on top.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Vacation

Hi. You may have noticed a lack of posts on here lately. It's probably especially noticeable since I had a rather prolific June. And I almost feel guilty for not cooking more with the good produce that's in season.

But I'm enjoying summer outside of the kitchen and not as interested in cooking lately. And, I've got a fabulous two-week vacation coming up. So I have decided to take a blog vacation as well.

Goodbye for at least 3 weeks! I hope to come back with a vengeance in mid-August with some killer recipes!!

For those of you who read this, thanks for hanging in there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza

I've been very lucky this week. After being gifted with greens from Ang on Monday, I was given 3 big bags of groceries from Cass's mom on Tuesday. In those bags was a jackpot of fresh produce from the St. Paul Farmer's Market.

Using Ang's surprisingly tasty gluten-free pizza crust, we combined other ingredients to make a fantastic dinner.

Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza
Crust of your choice
Olive Oil
Garlic, pressed or minced finely
salt and pepper
sliced beets, boiled or roasted with skins removed
sweet corn
goat cheese
parmesan cheese
basil chiffonade

Bake your crust per package instructions until nearly done. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Arrange beets, corn, goat cheese, and parm. Bake 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees (try not to burn your house down if you light your silicone mat on fire). Add basil.

Serve with a lovely mixed green salad and copious amounts of sparkling wine to your favorite people.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crazy Collard Wrap

I absolutely love wraps, it's one of my favorite lunchtime meals. Either American style with guts such as grilled chicken, tuna salad, or scrambled eggs - or Mexican style with beans and salsa. Wraps are just more fun than sandwiches and they taste better (to me). Problem is, if I keep flour tortillas in the house, I would eat all of them in about 2 days. Not lean. So I haven't had a really good wrap in awhile and I haven't missed them until yesterday.

By the way - best wrap I've ever had? At the Ridgedale Macy's lunch counter, no lie. It had cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella chunks, pine nuts, romaine lettuce, and a basil vinaigrette. Sounds plain but it was fantastic.

Back to yesterday and the start of a major craving. My friend Ang brought me a gorgeous bouquet of greens from her garden. We whipped up a kale frittata (from the bouquet) for dinner and as we were enjoying it, I asked her how she uses her collard greens. Since she can't have wheat, she said she uses her collards as a wrap. Fricking genius!!!!

This one is gonna knock your socks off. It looks like something you'd get at some kooky California health nut restaurant, but it was whipped up in my kitchen in about 5 minutes.

First I dipped the collard in a pan of boiling water for about 15 seconds to soften it. Then I ran it under cold water so it wouldn't wilt too much. Then I layered in leftover quinoa salad (with extra beans added) and carrot salad, topped with a bit of crumbled feta cheese and wrapped it up.

Here is what it looked like pre-wrapping:

And pre-eating:

The collard was not quite as sturdy as a tortilla but it certainly did the trick with the help of a fork. I love this idea! Can't wait to cook up some more quinoa and spice it up with taco seasoning and tomatoes and avocado and make this again Mexi-style.

This is definitely both green (literally!) and lean! One of the cutest suppers I've had in a long time - thanks Ang!!!! This is the kind of discovery that keeps me motivated to keep blogging and recording my favorite meals so that I can make them again someday.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Carrot Salad

My friend Cass is visiting this week. She is such a great foodie friend who has a completely different way of looking at things that seem so obvious after she points it out. Each time she does this, my the door to the food world is opened wider and wider. She is the one who introduced me to kale, poached eggs, frittatas, and many other wonderful things.

Today she offhandedly throws out casually that she eats simple carrot salads all the time, from a recipe she found on Orangette. My brain and stomach simultaneously said "yes, we must try this." So that's exactly what I did.

However, I of course can not leave well enough alone. So instead of garlic, I used chopped red onion and since my lemon was pretty mild and I prefer more acidic flavors, I dumped in a few glugs of sherry vinegar. The resulting salad was a stunning, shocking, bright orange color with a fresh tang and lovely crunch.

I served the carrot salad on top of fresh baby lettuce with 1/2 can white tuna and sunflower seeds. One final dusting of salt, pepper and drizzle of good olive oil and this lunch was perfect for a summer Sunday.

Carrot Salad
1 lb. carrots, grated or julienned
1/2 red onion, diced finely
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Mix together. Great with tuna and sunflower seeds over field greens.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Quinoa Salad with Tahini dressing

Happy Fourth of July! Here is some red, white, and blue food for you to enjoy (my backyard raspberries are finally ripe!). PS - homemade yogurt and homemade larabars are much easier and tastier on the 2nd try!

And happy anniversary to Green and Lean 09! I've been bloggin' about food for six months now! Wow, that has gone so fast. When I started this little site for myself, I didn't think I'd be able to come up with enough different things to make that would fill one month worth of blog postings. But I still enjoy hunting for new recipes to try and I've gathered a bunch of readers so I'm inspired to keep going for another few months at least! Thanks for following my real food journey with me.

So, one of the ingredients I've been dying to try is quinoa. I've heard it's a superfood and is easy to make and delicious. And they even had the inca red variety at my little local grocery store. I bought the box a few days ago with the plans of testing something soon. Then I decided to have a little dinner party and one of my guests can't eat wheat gluten so the thought of a quinoa side dish made perfect sense! I used this recipe exactly and it was quite tasty!

To go with this fiber and protein filled side dish, I just made some simply grilled halibut on a bed of balsamic onions and kale. The photo is terrible because I took it outside at 10:00 pm! But I wanted to share the meal because it was enjoyable with several bottles (4? 5? who knows) of wine.

PS - for an appetizer, I used my garlic scape pesto mixed with some lemon juice and goat cheese as a spread and it was fantastic!

PPS - for dessert I got to try halva, which was a greek mixture of sesame seeds and honey that I thought tasted like the inside of a Butterfinger candy bar. Paired with some sweet berries, it was amazing. Good way to get a candy fix using real food if I ever need one.