Every Sunday morning, I hop in the car with Lucas and we go grocery shopping. All of the fruits and vegetables are gorgeous this time of year. Cluster tomatoes, heavy on their still-attached vines, smell like summer sunlight. Ripe peaches are cheap and plentiful — I’ve gotten them as cheaply as 77 cents a pound. Beautiful, fresh summer produce like this deserves to shine. Gazpacho is the perfect vessel for that.
I had never made it before, but I knew the theory. Blend together tomato, peppers, and herbs, and chill. It’s really that simple. The key thing to remember when making gazpacho is that it’s served cold, and what that does to flavors: it dulls them. So, it follows that the flavors in your gazpacho need to be bigger and bolder than if the dish were served hot.
The peaches that I added to impart a little extra sweetness, but the overall feeling of this gazpacho is still zesty and bright. Oniony, garlicky, and a little acidic, it’s a refreshing dish for a hot summer day. Stir in a little Greek yogurt and serve with poached shrimp to make it more substantial. Recipe after the jump! Read more… →
As you know, I love a good chicken thigh. This one-pot recipe (another of my kitchen loves) makes great use of them. I took bone-in chicken thighs, removed the skin, and braised them in balsamic vinegar and Italian herbs. Once the chicken was done, I added in a heaping bowl of chopped cauliflower and zucchini.
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I have some version of this strawberry salad for lunch almost every day. I love salads like this for a couple of reasons.
1. Size matters: This thing is ENORMOUS. It’s not some piddling side salad that will leave you feeling even hungrier than you were before you ate. This is a salad mountain, my friends. After this meal, you’ll feeling full and satisfied — not deprived.
2. Looks matter too: Honestly, what a gorgeous meal. You’ll get compliments on it, I promise. And guess what? Those colorful veggies aren’t just pretty. All those beautiful colors mean nutrients. This strawberry salad will do nothing but good things for you.
3. Simple and convenient: Like I said earlier, I make a salad like this for lunch every day. I’m a working woman, so that means I have to make it travel. It’s super easy. In the morning, I toss the dressing ingredients together in a little bottle. I put the mixed greens in one container and the chopped vegetables in another. Done and done. When I get hungry, I plate it. It doesn’t get much easier (or cheaper!) than that.
I really like this version because the strawberries and chopped almonds make the salad just a little bit special. In spite of the cold weather, it makes me feel like spring is just around the corner. The lemon-basil dressing is the perfect complement to the flavors of the salad. It’s bright and clean and subtly sweet — just the thing for those juicy strawberries.
Here’s the recipe. Read more… →
So I cheated.
I made this tomato-scallion cornbread using *gasp* a box of Jiffy. Wait, hear me out! I wanted cornbread but I didn’t feel like messing around with a ton of ingredients that were just gonna mess up my kitchen. I mean, really, who feels like fooling with cornmeal and flour after work on a Tuesday night? “Oooo me, me!” said ABSOLUTELY NO ONE.
Anyway, the boxed corn muffin mix really makes this recipe a breeze. Instead of using the oil or full fat milk that most cornbread recipes call for, I opted to use nonfat Greek yogurt. In addition to making the cornbread wonderfully dense and moist, the Greek yogurt cuts the sweetness of the Jiffy nicely. Plus, it keeps the light and guilt-free. The tangy yogurt pairs up with the tomatoes and scallions to make this cornbread a surprisingly savory, zesty side. Serve it up with some soup or chicken tenders for a no-fuss weeknight meal. Read more… →
I very rarely eat red meat, but when I do, this is how I want it. Simple. Fresh. Steak should not be dripping in butter and oil with some greasy potato-bacon bomb on the side. (I’m looking at you, Outback Steakhouse.) To me, all that extra stuff is just disrespectful to the meat in addition to being unbelievably unhealthy. Steak is at its best with a simple preparation. All you really need is a hot pan, salt, and pepper.
This simple steak and grilled salad is the absolute embodiment of that principle. I used thin boneless chuck steak because it’s (a) pretty lean and (b) dirt cheap, but you can absolutely do this with whatever cut you want. I love grilled vegetables in the summertime, so I threw a few of my favorites in the pan along with the steak. Read more… →