“Another day, another salad”. That seems to be my motto these days. I’m on a salad roll for real, as I’ve been trying to take advantage of seasonal produce as much as possible. That’s actually one of my favorite things about the end of Summer/beginning of Autumn. All the amazing new vegetables that start popping up on farmer’s markets’ tables! I buy way too many vegetables when I go, and I know it when I technically don’t need to go, but I can’t help myself and it’s always a part of my Saturday ritual.
Long time, no post. I just got back from an amazing trip to Turkey and brought back a ton of recipes and inspiration for delicious dishes with me. I didn’t want to spend too much time cooking today, since I had plenty to catch up on at home, so I decided to dive into that “one-pot” frenzy that’s been going around the web.
Spring is finally here in Philly! And for real this time! The weather is getting so much nicer, that I’m finally able to go to class without a puffy winter coat. Food wise, one of my favorite things about Spring season, is that I get to eat salads at every single meal. I crave fresh, tasty and healthy lunch options, which brings me to experiment with a ton of veggies and dressings. Since I get bored quite easily with the typical “mixed greens and tomatoes” type of salad, I love to add several types of grains, or other add-ins to my go-to recipes. Among “mixed salads,” rice ones are at the top of my list. Once you have the base, you can add whatever your heart desires and make a tasty dish in no time. This brown rice tuna salad is very easy to make, and adaptable so you can let your creative “kitchen juices” flow. All you need to remember is that simpler is better, and you’re in for a great new dish. Bon appétit!
Prep Time: 15 min
- 1/4-1/2 cup brown rice
- 1 small can of tuna
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 medium cucumber
- 1/4 shallot
- a bunch of fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper to taste
- Bring salted water to a boil, and cook the rice for the time indicated on the packaging. Mine takes about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grate the carrot and the cucumber, and set aside. Using a fork, flake the tuna in its can.
- Next, make the “balsamic-tomato vinaigrette.” Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes, shallot, and parsley, and put them in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is still slightly chunky, but starting to get homogeneous. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and pulse again. Set aside as well.
- When the rice is cooked, put it in a colander and let cold water run over it. As soon as the grains are at room temperature, drain thoroughly and place them in a bowl.
- Toss the rice with the flaked tuna, grated veggies, and “balsamic-tomato vinaigrette”. Enjoy!
As I’ve told you already, I’m a big fan of Asian gastronomy. As much as I enjoy going to the restaurant though, it’s always fun to try and recreate some classics at home. Today, the nice weather got me in the mood to try a thai inspired cold noodle salad. This was wonderfully refreshing and a nice change to my usual go-to lunch options. The spicy soy-lime dressing really makes the dish come together as it deliciously coats the noodles and veggies. I can think of a hundred ways to play around with combinations for this salad. It’s really up to your creativity and whatever is left in your fridge. Bon appétit!
Prep Time: 20 min
- 1/2 cup shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 bundle vermicelli rice noodles
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/4 yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup mixed shredded red and green cabbage, kale, brocoli and Brussel sprouts (I use Trader Joe’s “Cruciferous Crush” but any homemade combination would work)
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- a handful of raw cashew nuts
- a bunch of fresh mint
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp agave nectar (or honey)
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice (with zest)
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- To cook the noodles, put water to a boil. Cover the dried noodles with the boiling water and let it sit for 3-5 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Drain the cooked noodles, and let them cool down.
- Meanwhile, cook the shrimp. I use frozen shrimp that I heat up in a pan with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper for about 5 minutes.
- Next, use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons with the carrot and the bell pepper, and put them in a bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes sliced in half, the chopped fresh mint, and the shredded crunchy veggies. Toss it all together.
- Make the Spicy Soy-Lime dressing by mixing all the ingredients well together.
- To plate, put the half of the veggies in a bowl, followed by the cooked noodles, and the remaining veggies and the shrimp on top. Toss with the dressing and finish with freshly chopped mint, and raw cashew pieces.
It’s good to be back! Though I had a wonderful Spring Break, it’s time to get back to work, and start cooking again. It’s been a while since I last posted a (pasta) recipe, and I feel like it’s necessary for me to do so, since I eat so much of it! It’s also always good to have an extra recipe to switch things up a bit. So get ready, because this isn’t your typical Caprese salad… For starters, I should admit that I don’t really like pasta salads. Pasta is just so much better when it’s warm, that I never even think of eating it cold. Additionally, the pasta is too often mushy, or completely drowned in sauce. So this week, I decided I’d give a classic, the Caprese Pasta Salad, a little twist and make my delicious *warm* version of it. The star of this recipe is obviously the pesto rosso, or red pesto, which is basically pesto with a mix of fresh and sundried tomatoes. It adds a wonderful touch to the dish and make the flavors and textures of the fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes stand out in contrast. It’s also incredibly easy to make, with ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge or pantry! This recipe makes about two servings of pesto so you can keep the rest in the fridge and add it to scrambled eggs, or a bowl of quinoa the next day. Ti amo, Pesto Rosso… Bon appétit!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the Pesto Rosso: Serves 2
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/6 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 garlic clove
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1/8 cup chopped blanched almonds
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/2-1 tbsp grated romano cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper
Ingredients for the Caprese Pasta:
- 80g medium shells pasta
- 1/2 pesto rosso preparation
- a handful of cherry tomatoes (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (diced)
- chopped fresh basil (optional)
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot, and cook the pasta for the time written on the packaging (mine takes about 9 minutes).
- Meanwhile, make the pesto rosso. In a food processor, add the sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and almonds. Pulse until everything is roughly chopped, and chunky. Next, add the cherry tomatoes, and a light splash of balsamic vinegar. Pulse again, until well combined. Then, add the olive oil with the cheese and keep pulsing. Finally, add 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and pulse until the sauce is creamy and homogeneous. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot, add the diced fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, and toss with the pesto rosso. Top with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. Mamma mia how delicious it is!