Happy belated Easter everyone! It’s good to be back. I actually went to Nashville last week and got to discover Southern cuisine, which was absolutely delicious! Shrimp & grits, sticky buns and chicken were definitely the way to go. However, it is on the “heavier” side of the food spectrum and I felt like I needed something fresh, with plenty of vegetables for lunch today! Introducing my new obsession: cauliflower couscous!
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.
Ahhh baked sweet potatoes… So simple, yet so satisfying. I don’t know why I like them so much. But there’s just something comforting about them. Sure, when I think about “comfort food”, they aren’t the first thing rushing through my mind. I tend to immediately picture a steaming bowl of mac n’ cheese, or lasagna. But they definitely come as a close runner-up. Our heater broke because of the cold last night and I couldn’t think of anything else to warm me up. This dish was just prime comfort food with ingredients that I had on-hand. Additionally, it turned out to be a great way to use some left-over beans and onions. The dressing made it all come together nicely. It added this great sweet and savory taste to the dish. All in all, this one’s a keeper if you’re looking for some warmth on a cold winter’s night. Bon appétit!
Prep time: 35-40 min
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 avocado (mashed)
- 1/4 yellow onion (chopped)
- olive oil
Peanut-Honey Mustard dressing:
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp honey
- salt, pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you can pierce through the flesh easily with a fork.
- Once the sweet potato is in the oven, make the peanut-honey mustard dressing by mixing all the ingredients together until the mix is homogenous.
- Also meanwhile, sauté the onions with olive oil, on high heat, in a small pot for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and let it evaporate to further soften the onions. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium heat.
- Once the sweet potato is done, cut it in half with a knife, but not all the way, and spread both sides apart. Stuff with the black beans and onions, and top with the mashed avocado. Drizzle with the sweet and savory dressing and enjoy while it’s hot!
TIP: you can substitute lentils or chickpeas for the black beans and you can also sprinkle with cheese for extra comfort food!