Kale Salad with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar Mustard Dressing

Kale Salad with Peaches (3) WM

ok, ok.  I know that it’s snowing in Colorado and is cold pretty much every where in the country, but I wanted to post this recipe that I made in the summer.  You can still get kale, so that’s good.  Maybe add fall fruit like an apple?

Serves 2

time: 10 minutes or so

 

Salad Ingredients:

handful of kale per person, washed and torn into small pieces

2 peaches, pitted and sliced into bite sized pieces

goat cheese (or feta), sprinkle for each person

 

Dressing Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic binegar

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon honey

salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1) Wash / tear the kale.  Wash / cut the peaches.

2) Make the salad dressing in a small bowl stirring vigorously to combine all of the ingredients.

3) Add the kale & peaches to the salad dressing, mix to coat the produce.

4) Place salad on each plate and sprinkle the crumbled goat or feta cheese on top.

 

Kale Salad with Peaches (11) WM

Sauteed Zucchini

Sauteed Zucchini  (36) WM

Zucchini is pretty dang good.  I love sauteing the veggie, and this recipe added a little extra something to my normal olive oil, salt & pepper “recipe”.  My husband thought there were too many capers, I thought the amount was perfect – so I would use a little to start and then add some more if needed.

 

ServesSauteed Zucchini  (12) WM

Sauteed Zucchini  (16) WM

serves 4

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

3 zucchini, cut into thick-ish round slices

olive oil

3 garlic gloves, smashed

small handful of mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Slice the zucchini into thick-ish rounds.

2) Heat a skillet on medium-high heat; drizzle in some olive oil. When the pan/oil is hot place the zucchini in the pan in one layer.  Continue cooking the zucchini until both sides are brown and the zucchini is soft.

3) Meanwhile, chop the rest of the ingredients and brown the pine nuts lightly.

4) Remove the cooked zucchini from the skillet, add in the chopped veggies & browned pine nuts, drizzle in a bit of balsamic vinegar, add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to coat the  zucchini. Sprinkle the feta or goat cheese on top.  Serve immediately.

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (20) WM

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (28) WM

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (8) WM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked orzo

baby arugula (or spinach)

cherry tomatoes

goat or feta cheese

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

salt

pepper

 

 

Directions:

1) Boil orzo according to package directions.  Rinse in cold water and let cool.

2) Wash the arugula and cherry tomatoes; slice the tomatoes in half.

3) In a large boil mix together about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (more/less of each depending on preference).  Add a pinch of salt & pepper (again, more if you want).  Mix the dressing up.

4) Put the cooked/cooled orzo, wash arugula, tomatoes and a handful of goat or feta cheese in the dressing.  Stir to coat.  Serve immediately.

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (5) WM

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (8) WM

I love salad, and I like interesting salads.  This one combines arugula (though I’m sure it would be just as yummy with spinach!), orzo pasta, goat (or feta) cheese and tomatoes.  Super simple and full of flavor – how can you go wrong!??

 

serves: about 6

time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

baby arugula

1/2 cup dry orzo, cooked

tomatoes (I used cherry), sliced

goat or feta cheese

5 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

 

Directions:

1. Boil the dry orzo according to package directions.  After it has cooked let it cool.

2. Wash and chop the tomatoes.  Wash the baby arugula

3. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper (to taste) together in a large bowl.  Throw in the baby arugula, cooked & cooled orzo, cut tomatoes and a handful or so of goat or feta cheese (the amount of cheese is to taste).

4. Gently stir the salad to combine all ingredients, serve immediately.

 

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (5) WM

Caprese Salad

caprese salad (19) WM

It has been raining all week here in Northern Colorado, but the weather is supposed to make a change for the better – just in time for the holiday weekend!  The nights and mornings are much more crisp, fall is totally in the air!  I love fall but am not really looking forward to the snow and the lack of summer produce like the wonderful tomatoes and basil used in this salad.  (the bowl & spoon are from Greece, how cool is that!  My husband’s parents brought it back for us several years ago.  Greece is on my list of places to visit…hopefully soon!)

This salad can either be layered in rows – tomato, cheese, basil – or mixed up like it is here.

caprese salad (9) WM

serves 4

time: quick, about 5 minutes unless you cut really slowly

 

 Ingredients:

1 tomato (or half & half of red & orange, or whatever colors – you can also use cherry tomatoes)

handful of basil, torn up

buffalo mozzarella (the kind in water, though regular mozzarella will work too but it’s not as good)

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

pepper

Lawry’s season salt

 

Directions:

1) Cut the tomatoes up into bite sized pieces, tear the basil up, cut the buffalo mozzarella into bite sized pieces (if you are doing the layering method slice the tomato & mozzarella into circles) and place is a shallow bowl.

2) Stir up the balsamic vinegar & olive oil, about 3 teaspoons of olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle in the pepper & Lawry’s season salt to taste. Pour the vinaigrette onto the tomatoes, basil and cheese – gently mix in the vinaigrette.

 

caprese salad (13) WM

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (16) WM

The first time that I had lamb was when I was in college; it was served with mint sauce and it was absolutely disgusting.  The second time I had lamb was a few months after I graduated college and my college friends and I went up to Guerneville, CA for a weekend to celebrate all of the libra birthdays (there were a ton of us!).  My one friend and I were camping and had brought hot dogs and other boring camping food.  We had befriended some older guys who were camping, and they invited us over for some fun drinks (I believe margaritas) – yes they camping in style, now know as “clamping” but that term wasn’t around in 2005! haha.  As we were sipping on our drinks dinner some how came up.  We told them that we were having hotdogs, and they said “No you are not!  You are going to have some lamb with us!).  They had been marinading the lamb in rosemary and white wine.  Again, this was camping and they were eating like queens!  I was blown away by my first grilled lamb.  Ah.maz.ing.

So, that’s my lamb story, after the dinner in Guerneville I became a believer of lamb.  The guys showed me that lam in fact is not nasty.

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (2 WM)

Ingredients:

lamb chops (one per person)

1 cupsbalsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

5 springs fresh rosemary, chopped finely

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

salt

pepper

cast iron pan

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat your oven’s broiler.

2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, chopped rosemary and crushed garlic in a small pot over medium high heat.  Once the mixture has come to a boil reduce to medium low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until it has thickened.

3. Place the cast iron skillet in the oven so it gets hot.

4. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper on each side.  Place the lamb chops in the hot skillet Let one side sizzle for a second, then flip over.  Place the skillet with the lamb chops in the broiler and broil each side for roughly 3 minutes.  Lamb is like beef, you can eat it when it’s still pink (and you really, really don’t want to over cook it).  Which reminds me, I should have taken a picture with one of the lamb chops cut open.

5. Once the lamb chops have been cooked, place on each plate and drizzle with the balsamic rosemary reduction.  Serve with a fresh salad, and the carb of your choice.

 

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (22) WM Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (8) WM

 

Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Chicken Skewers

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (9) WM

My car needed new front brakes so I took it to the mechanic today, and brought my bike to ride the 6 miles home.  The guy at the front desk asked if I needed a ride, I said ‘no, I’m going to ride my bike’ – he replied with, ‘next time you can use one of ours!’.  How very cool (and very Boulder) that my mechanic has several bikes that their customers can use!!

Onto this recipe.  As I’ve been saying in post after post, it’s summer so I have been grilling & using summer fruits and veggies – this recipe is no exception.  The balsamic vinegar & honey added a nice light touch of flavor to the chicken, and the quinoa & strawberry, goat cheese and nut salad were both a perfect compliment.

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (4) WM

serves 4

time: about 1 hour (marinade the night before)

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

2.5 good sized boneless & skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, plus more for garnish
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad Ingredients:
strawberries
spinach
goat cheese
mixed seasoned/sugared nuts
I also used a cup of dried quinoa, cook according to package directions.

Directions:

  1. The night before.  Cut off any extra fat from the chicken breasts and then cut into 1 inch chunks and place in a gallon ziplock bag.
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together and pour into the gallon bag with the chicken.  Mush around and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The day of.  Soak 3-4 wooden skewers in a shallow dish filled with water while getting the grill, quinoa and salad ready.
  4. Right before the grill is ready, thread the chicken pieces onto the water-soaked wooden skewers.
  5. Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook until no longer pink, turning over so all sides get charred.
  6. Wash and slice a good few handfuls of ripe strawberries, place on top of washed spinach.  Crumble goat cheese and throw a handful of mixed seasoned/sugared nuts on top
  7. Eat with your favorite beer, because it’ll make it that much better!

 

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (18) WM

Chicken & Black Rice Bowls

chicken & black rice bowls (38) chicken & black rice bowls (36)

These rice bowls were really tasty – black rice has an amazing taste, it’s really similar to a wild rice.  Be sure to marinade the chicken overnight for an extra yummy taste.

 

serves 4

marinade the chicken at least 4 hours, or overnight

chicken & black rice bowls (18)

Ingredients:

for the marinade – marinade the chicken at least 4 hours, or overnight

2 1/2 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
1/4 cups honey
1/2 canned chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
a pinch of salt and pepper
chicken & black rice bowls (1)
black rice
2 cups dry black rice
3 cups water or chicken broth
pinch of salt
cook on the stove or in a rice cooker (this is my preferred method)
for the veggies
1 ripe avocado, sliced
handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
cilantro, diced
green onions, sliced
handful of cashews
handful of dried cranberries
handful of crumbled feta cheese – we used Bulgarian feta which is really creamy
Directions:
1.Cook the rice per the instructions on the package.
2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, pouring the marinade into a pan and heating on medium-low heat and placing the chicken into a medium-high skillet coated with peanut oil.  Cook the chicken until no longer pink.
3. In the meantime slice all of the veggies.
4. Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has come to a rapid boil scoop out the rice, sprinkle the veggies, cranberries, cashews, and feta on top and spoon the sauce over the rice and veggies.
5. Serve and eat.
chicken & black rice bowls (4)

Beet and Citrus Salad

beet & citrus salad (2) WM

I love salads, and I love getting creative with salads.

Ingredients:

lettuce (I used baby arugula, but any mixture will do)

canned beets, drained – amount depends on your preference

mandarin oranges, drained – amount depends on your preference

grapefruit cup (or fresh), drained – amount depends on your preference

1 orange, peeled and divided into sections

pistachios, shelled – amount depends on your preference

goat cheese, crumbled- amount depends on your preference

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

pepper, to taste

Lawry’s seasoned salt, to taste

beet & citrus salad (3) WM

Directions:

1. Wash and drain lettuce, place a portion on each plate.

2. Place a portion of the remaining ingredients through goat cheese on top of the lettuce.

3. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and Lawry’s seasoned salt in a bowl and pour over each citrus salad (I forgot to put the dressing on my salad and I didn’t even notice!)

Serve with your favorite summer main dish!

beet & citrus salad (1) WM