Wednesday, May 29, 2013

cucumber honeydew salad with feta

A unique and tasty salad; the prefect blend of sweet and tangy.
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
10 servings
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. poppy seeds (optional)
1 medium honeydew melon, seeded and cubed (5 cups)
1 cucumber, unpeeled and cubed
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (rinsed and patted dry if you want to tame the raw taste)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
4 oz. feta, crumbled

In a large bowl pour the lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, salt, pepper and poppy seed. Add melon, cucumber, onion and dill. Toss to combine. Just before serving top with feta. Yep, it's pretty simple.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

creamy pasta verde with garlic brown butter breadcrumbs

Oodles of greens in noodles. Deliciousness on steroids. The whole family loved this dish.
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
4 servings
1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup broccoli, chopped
10 asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into thirds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 leeks, tough green tops discarded, cleaned, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. fresh spinach
1/2 bunch kale leaves, torn from tough ribs
1/2 cup shelled edamame* (could also substitute frozen peas)
1 ripe avocado
6-8 oz mascarpone cheese (=yum)
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

1/3 cup whole grain breadcrumbs (pulse bread in blender to form crumbs and toast in the oven at 300º until crisp)
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare pasta. While waiting, start of the rest of the dish. Keep in mind that you need to reserve about 2/3 cup of the pasta water.
2. Heat a large skilled over medium heat. Add 1.5 Tbsp. olive oil, then toss in chopped broccoli and asparagus with 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Toss well to coat, then cook until slightly golden and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Add remaining olive oil to skillet and head to medium-low. Add leeks and red pepper, stirring well to coat and cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add spinach and kale with remaining salt and pepper, tossing well. Cook and stir until wilted, about 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly. As soon as brown bits begin to form, remove from heat and whisk for 30 seconds. Let butter stand 2 minutes, then add in minced garlic and whisk. Add in breadcrumbs and stir well. Set aside.
5. Slice avocado in half. Remove flesh from one side, mashing until smooth. Add 2/3 of reserved pasta water and mascarpone cheese and stir until creamy.
6. Add spinach and kale mixture to pan along with pasta and avocado sauce. Finish by adding in the cheese, broccoli, asparagus, and edamame. To serve, slice remaining avocado and add to top of each dish, the sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

*can be special ordered through the Green Barn

Thursday, May 23, 2013

grilled zucchini with mozzarella and dill

This delicious summer dish is so simple and only uses a few ingredients.
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
makes 4 servings 
3  medium zucchini (I mixed in some yellow summer squash), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
2 Tbsp. snipped dill
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat grill.
On a baking sheet arrange zucchini in a single layer. Brush both sides lightly using about 2 Tbsp olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Place zucchini directly on grill rack and grill over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, turning once.
3. On a serving platter, arrange warm zucchini with mozzarella. Sprinkle with dill and crushed red pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil.

Friday, May 10, 2013

toasted almond, quinoa, and dark chocolate granola

need I say more?
adapted from
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1 cup toasted sliced almonds (for a quick option use the Almond Accents since they are ready to go)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp coconut oil or unsalted butter (both taste great)
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. If using butter: add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 min., then immediately remove from heat and set aside. Stir in honey and vanilla (it will now smell delicious. If using coconut oil, melt and add honey and vanilla.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, quinoa, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir very well with spoon or hands. Spread evenly on baking sheet in one layer. Bake 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for about 10 more minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so until the mixture is golden.
3. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze granola together with hands to help it clump. Pour chocolate chips over and stir gently. Let cool completely for at least an hour before eating (this will be difficult).

yummy with milk, almond milk or yogurt. Enjoy!

*Soak for at least 15 minutes, rinse, then bring to a boil along with 1 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 25-35 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork

rainbow salad

This was definitely a "what do we have in the house?" kind of salad. Full of delicious fresh veggies and leftover grilled asparagus, topped with flax and toasted almonds, and drizzled with a flax honey lime vinaigrette it makes a colorful and tasty spring and summer dish. Orange bell peppers and blueberries would turn this into a truly rainbow dish. To make this salad a meal or to entice the "where's the meat?" crowd, feel free to add bacon and hard boiled eggs.
*Ingredients: (in whatever quantities your heart desires)
organic spring mix
tomato: I used cherry and roma but heirloom would be great too
yellow corn, blanched in boiling water for a couple minutes then removed from cob
grilled asparagus (or other grilled vegetables)
bell peppers
red (purple) cabbage
bacon (optional)
hard boiled eggs (optional)
ground flax
sliced and toasted almonds (I used the very handy Almond Accents)

for the dressing:
equal parts balsamic vinegar and flax oil. Add to taste: fresh lime juice, honey and some salt and pepper

*all available at the one and only Green Barn