Category: Vegetables, sides & appetizers

Cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad

Cucumber, tomato & chickpea salad

I make this cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad, on average, once a week. It’s so easy I could probably make it in my sleep. It’s my go to healthy snack or a quick side for lunch or dinner. I’m sure hubs is sick of it at this point but he continues to eat it with a smile on his face so I will continue to make it.

I make a lot of variations of this salad but the recipe below is generally the basis. It takes 5-10 minutes to put together, depending on how good you are with a knife and prepping the veggies, which is really the only work you have to do. This recipe makes a lot but I keep it on hand in the fridge all week long and, as mentioned above, eat it for snacks or serve it alongside whatever I’m having for dinner.

FYI, this salad screams summer. It’s great to bring to a pot luck or a barbecue. It’s a perfect, easy side dish for any summer party. (more…)

Spring Vegetable Bars

spring vegetable bars

I came up with this recipe on Easter Sunday because I felt like we needed another appetizer. We really didn’t. There were six of us and we had enough food to feed about twenty people but I like to be excessive on Holidays. And parties. And really any occasion where food is involved. So, I made this. I wanted something spring-y and I happened to have zucchini, asparagus and spring onions on hand and I always have a bag of frozen peas in my freezer. I also happened to have on hand my new favorite refrigerator staple, a Pillsbury ready made pizza crust. These things are amazing. They take no time to cook and are super versatile. I mean you can do so many things with pre-made pizza crust. But what you should do is make these spring vegetable bars. (more…)

cucumber, goat cheese and salami appetizer

cucumber, goat cheese and salami appetizer

This is possibly the easiest appetizer you’ll ever make. Unless you count pre-made appetizers that you just microwave or bake but this one may even rival those because there is literally no cooking involved in this recipe. It’s just assembling.

It’s also perfect for summer because it’s light and refreshing, and like I mentioned above, you don’t have to turn your stove top or your oven on. I don’t know about you but I eat a TON of cucumber in the summer. It’s full of water and the crisp texture is great for a quick, healthy summer snack. Add some cool, creamy goat cheese and a piece of salami and you got it made. Literally.

Bonus: It’s only 3 ingredients! (more…)

Healthy stuffed sweet potato skins

healthy stuffed sweet potato skins

I very rarely buy sweet potatoes. I know, I know. They are super healthy and packed with loads of vitamins and nutrients. They are really filling and great for muscle building. I know. It’s not that I don’t like them, unless they are candied and topped with marshmallows. Yuck. I’ve never been into that Thanksgiving staple. But in most cases, I like them. I guess I just find them a bit boring? Unless you eat them like this…In which case, the fat content in the rest of the ingredients probably outweighs the health benefits of the sweet potatoes. Anyway, sweet potatoes can be boring if they are baked and served plain alongside some kind of a roast. Blah. (more…)

Spicy chickpea curry

spicy chickpea curry

When I’m perusing the buffet at an Indian restaurant, there are a couple of staple dishes I always get excited about. Chana Masala happens to be one such dish. When I eat chana masala, I’m convinced I could be a vegetarian. It’s everything I want in a dish. Hearty chickpeas, spicy tomato sauce. Serve it with a piece of warm naan bread and I’m in heaven.

This spicy chickpea curry is my quick and easy version of chana masala. There are tons of variations and recipes for chana masala but I promise, this is a good one. (more…)

Spicy braised kale

Spicy braised kale

I always do this. I tell myself I’m going to lose weight for an event and then suddenly the event is one month away and bummer, I’ve only lost 2 pounds. Needless to say, I’m in that same scenario now. So, I’m on a very strict diet/cleanse for the next week or so and I’m not going to lie to you guys, it sucks. It really really sucks. But you know what? It’s working and recipes like this spicy, braised kale make it slightly more bearable. I cheated a bit with the bacon, but 4 thin slices of bacon for 10 oz of kale is not that much right? Hmm…Maybe this type of rationalization is what gets me into trouble in the first place. (more…)

Refreshing cabbage and jicama slaw…and a note about balance


refreshing cabbage & jicama slaw

Wow…The last time I posted was in March. I didn’t even realize how much time had actually gone by since my last post. I knew it had been a while but when I logged in to write this post I was surprised at the date of my last one. Well, life has been busy, that’s for sure. Too busy for my liking. Sometimes I feel like life is a bit of a whirlwind. It’s easy to say, “Oh things have been crazy!” And that’s definitely true. But the flip side is I haven’t been as intentional about blogging and writing as I should be. It’s what I love to do and when I don’t do it I feel like something is missing. But even though I love it, it takes time and brain power and discipline. And lately I’ve been putting that time and brain power and discipline into other things. And I’ve felt drained. I haven’t had the time (or made the time) to be creative in the kitchen, to work on my writing, to read, to do many other things that make my soul so happy. So needless to say, I’m happy to be blogging today. I’m hoping this will be the start of more regular blogging once again. (more…)

Healthy vegetable curry

healthy vegetable curry

I figured January called for a healthy recipe. After all, it is the month of resolutions and new starts. The problem is, because it’s cold, dreary and dark here in January, I never really feel like eating salad, or anything cold for that matter. Granted, there are so many things you can do with vegetables besides make a salad, but I’ve been lazy on the food front lately. But this weekend I felt inspired and on Sunday, I spent a good portion of the evening cooking. This healthy vegetable curry was, by far, the best thing I made that night. I also made a delicious beef and asparagus stir-fry for Matt, but it doesn’t really count as my recipe because I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce for the marinade. Guys, that sauce is so delicious. I rarely buy bottled sauces, because I like to make my own but, as I already mentioned, I’ve been lazy on the food front this month. If you ever need a quick dinner, marinate some meat or tofu in this sauce and stir-fry it with some veggies. It is so versatile and so delicious. But, back to the veggie curry, the star of this blog post. (more…)

Smoky sweet potato side dish

smoky sweet potato side dish

I’m not a huge fan of traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato side dishes. You know the ones I mean. Those super sweet dishes where the potatoes are mashed and topped with brown sugar or marshmallows or some other sugary topping. They have their place but they just don’t do much for me and, in my opinion, they don’t go with all the other savory items on the plate like the turkey, stuffing and gravy. Maybe I’m in the minority but I generally don’t like to mix savory and sweet things. Which is also why I usually skip over the cranberry sauce as well. It’s not that I  truly dislike “sweet” sweet potatoes, but I definitely prefer the savory side dishes. (more…)

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