Parsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

pars saladParsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

the ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large bunch mint
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

the method:

  1. Pick the leaves from the parsley and mint and place in a large bowl. Halve the cherry tomatoes and toss with the parsley and mint leaves.
  2. Combine the shallot, mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, then toss the dressing with the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Triple Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese and More Football Food!

Well, it’s football season folks! As a vegetarian, it’s a lot of fun to get crafty in order to entertain your man-friend and a couple of his buddies. Nick wanted to entertain a group of his friends for the UofA game that was on Saturday night. I went to ASU myself, so I had to put my “big girl” pants on and buck up and cheer on the Wildcats while flipping back and forth to the Sun Devil game. Both teams won, thankfully – but I don’t think I‘ll be able to stay so neutral for the ASU vs. Arizona game come November. Get your claws out, Jorgenson…

We decided on grilling some burgers, and preparing mac n’ cheese and a salad for side dishes. I left Nick to grill while I prepared the side dishes. The boys has savory beef patties and Nick grilled up a nice Gardein burger for me J.

I felt the urge to impress Nick’s friends since one of them had just come back from Mongolia (figured he wanted some traditional cheesy and yummy tailgating food), and I was in a room full of UofA boys. I’m sure most people are aware of the rivalry between ASU and UofA… so the chances of a roast were very high. I couldn’t just make typical mac n’ cheese, so I opted for what I like to call Triple Smoky Mac n’ Cheese. As for the salad – I went with Alicia Silverstone’s Sexy Inspired Salad.

I want to give a big shout-out to Dave for chopping an avocado like a champ. I’m serious – dude’s got mad skills.

I’m hoping the yum-factor of the side dishes wiped their memory clear of the fact that I am a Sun Devil (and proud of it)!

Triple Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (I used shells because thats what I had on hand)
  • 6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Half an onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, or
  • 1⁄4 cup Frontera brand chipotle salsa
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 8 ounces smoked cheddar, grated, or substitute regular cheddar if you can’t find smoked cheddar
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 cups Homemade Bread Crumbs made with 2 cloves minced garlic added. Recipe in the book.

The Method:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta according to package directions, draining when it is just becoming al dente. This will bake more in the oven, so don’t overcook it. Drain, transfer it to a bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons of the butter.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

3. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk pretty constantly for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Add the onion, smoked paprika, rosemary, chipotle, oregano, and nutmeg. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep cooking, whisking occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, stirring each addition of cheese until melted. It is important to do this gradually, to avoid graininess.

5. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your preference. It will probably need just a little salt, depending on the cheeses. Add more chipotle if you’d like it hotter. Remember that the sauce should be pretty intense, because it needs to flavor a full pound of pasta.

6. Stir the macaroni into the sauce. Pour the pasta into the baking dish. Scatter the bread crumbs evenly over the top.

7. Bake until you can see bubbling around the sides and the bread crumbs are nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Let the dish rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Alicia’s Sexy Inspired Salad

The Ingredients:

  • Fresh salad greens such as red leaf, butter lettuce, or romaine (I used Romaine)
  • 1 small handful of arugula
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/2-1 heirloom tomato (optional but nice)
  • 1/2-1/4 medium cucumber, chopped into bite size pieces (peel only if the cucumber is not organic)
  • 4 dandelion greens (optional, but good for you)
  • 1/2 carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 3-4 chopped fresh basil sprigs
  • 4-5 chopped fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)

Dressing

  • 2.5 tablespoons truffle-infused olive or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • juice 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated vegan Parmesan cheese

The Method:

  1. Add all the dressing ingredients together and whisk together.
  2. Get a big salad bowl that makes you happy with a lot of room to toss and play. Wash, tear and throw in the lettuce. Add the arugula, avocado, tomato and cucumber. Top with the dandelion greens, carrot shavings, and herbs. Toss with dressing and sprinkle with the hemp and sunflower seeds.

Roasted Garlicky Green Beans

I’ve never claimed to be a “healthy” vegetarian. For those of you who know me, you know that I’m a carbohydrate fiend. I simply would not be able to live without my pasta and bread. However, eating a strictly carbohydrate-based diet will undoubtedly cause weight gain and all sorts of health issues. But I must admit that dressing up some simple veggies, like these yummy Green Beans above, with some parm and truffle oil makes what you used to try to hide under mashed potatoes, your favorite option on the plate. I got this recipe from Skinny Taste, and the recipe claims to be kid-approved; I totally believe it. I think we may have just solved every mother’s crisis when butting heads with their toddler at the kitchen table. Kids: Eat your veggies!

Ingredients:

12 oz green beans, trimmed (make sure they are dry)
2 tsp truffle oil
kosher salt + fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tbsp shredded parmesan

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum for easy clean-up.
  2. Lay green beans out on the baking sheet and drizzle oil over them. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss to evenly coat.
  3. Spread them out on the sheet so that they all lay flat and place on the lower third section of your oven. Bake 10 minutes, shake the pan to turn; bake 5 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

This recipe is a great starter or side-dish. The flavors are light and crisp, and the fact that you can prepare this dish in about 5 minutes makes it even more lovable. You see that post below this one for the Baked Fontina and Smoked Mozzarella? Yeah, I served this bad boy alongside that sizzling and savory dish. Can you say perfection? 🙂

Recipe:

2 cucumbers
1 cup diced tomato or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onion or thinly sliced sweet onion (or more)
1 avocado (ripe)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (optional, for tossing with avocado)
about 1 T good-quality balsamic vinegar
about 1 T good-quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Chop up your cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and avocado and toss them in a salad bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice on top of your veggie mixer to prevent the avocado from browning – and who doesn’t like a little lemon flavor? I know I do! Next, drizzle your mixture with the vinegar and olive, season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!