SPICY PEANUT + SESAME SPIRALIZED ZUCCHINI SALAD

Sometime, a picture just says it all.

Texture, color, taste… They’re all there. 

The recipe is big because one serving of this salad will never be enough. There’s even dressing to make a half batch of salad next week, when you can’t get these flavors out of your head.

You’re welcome. 

Also, because I know you love links, click here to buy the julienne peeler I use on amazon!

For the printable Spiralized Zucchini Salad recipe click here

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CHEESE STUFFED FRIED OLIVES, 2 WAYS

  

I’m that person. You know, the one pretending to go wash my hands in a restaurant so that I can not so subtly look at whats on everyones tables. Or the one who walks by people sitting at a sidewalk table outside of a little pastaria in Italy and asks them what their eating because the smell coming off there table is so intoxicating that I just can’t resist. 

I’m Danielle, I love food. Nice to meet you. 

 We were lucky enough to spend this past in southern Italy with Miriam Schreiber on one of her legendary Legacy Tours trips. My children had the most amazing time touring ancient cities, volcanoes and roman ruins. I had the most amazing time staring at peoples plates. Every where we went there were little hole-in-wall restaurants/cafes serving the most simple looking, but ridiculously incredible smelling food. Obviously I had to stop and ask every single table of patrons we passed and ask them what they were eating. 

There were a few dishes that stood out in my mind that I knew I had to recreate. I had to wait for the perfect opportunity though to spring these recipes on you all. Some are a little too labor intensive for a regular dairy week night dinner. But, for Shavuous, a holiday that we are willing to go the extra step for to create a beautiful dairy kiddish or meal, is the perfect opportunity! 

You’ll have to wait a little longer for a few of the other dishes that MUST be recreated, but I wanted to start you off with a BANG. 

These olives were on sooooo many peoples tables. Usually, served as a small appetizer over a fresh, house made tomato sauce that was probably made from San Marzano tomatoes pick the day before!

We may not have fresh San Marzano tomatoes but we all have access to cheese, olives and breadcrumbs!

Do not miss the chance to make these olives. This is definitely not a recipe that you’ll try later.. You need to make these while the shavuous cooking feels are in the air! They take a few extra minutes to make but I included prep ahead instructions into the recipes!

Also, because I was so obsessed with them, and genuinely could not decided which h version of the olives I liked more (the green mozzarella stuffed or the kalamata labaneh stuffed), I included both recipes! I even included 2 different ways you can serve them! 

Oh, and BONUS, another awesome salad dressing!

Wishing you all a Happy Monday and of course, HAPPY COOKING!

✌🏻💜 & 🥕,

Danielle

                        

For the printable LABANE STUFFED FRIED KALAMTA OLIVES click here

For the printable MOZZARELLA STUFFED FRIED GREEN OLIVES click here

For the printable BALSAMIC AND SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE click here

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HOW BUSY PEOPLE LUNCH + LUNCH INSPO

                                 

                       

LUNCH. The meal that got away. 

Life is busy. Whether your a mom or not, every single person out there has things to do. Unfortunately, unless a meeting or one of our many “things” happens to take place at or next to a really goos salad bar, or sandwich shop, lunch just does not fall high on the “to-do” list. 

So what happens?

You skip it. 

Why?

Because. LIFE!

and then what happens?

At around 3/4:00 your stomach starts screaming “feed me women or I’ll eat myself”.

Now, that would be awful. So what do you do? 

You immediately start shoving anything edible (on a bad day it doesn’t even have to be edible. Just in close proximity to your hand) into your mouth. 

By the time dinner comes along you’ve now eaten enough calories to replace the lunch you missed and just to be safe, you even ate enough calories to replace dinner. 

So you shower and use go to bed.  However, now is the tine you need to sit down with your children/husband/friend or whoever is around to a proper meal. The only problem is, your not hungry and now sitting through dinner time is just inconvenient because you could be sleeping. 

Well, that needs to change. I set out on a mission to eat lunch.

EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

This is not the first time I’ve attempted this. But much like counting the Omer, I never get past day 1. (just kidding, I made it to day 7 last year. Also, it’s Eli’s fault.) This time though, I am determined to make lunch happen.

As I write this I am two days in and know that if I could make it to Friday then maybe I have a chance of actually keeping this up. I just need to build momentum! 

So far I’ve learned a few lunch rules…

  1. I need to make lunches I actually want to eat. (No tempeh for me)
  2. They need to be very, very, wait did I say very, easy and quick to assemble. 
  3. The components need to be mostly prepared in advance. (Salad dressings, roasted veggies…)
  4. I can not commit to putting the lunch together the night before. I need to eat what I’m in the mood for and I can guarantee that whatever I think I want the night before will be the exact opposite of what I want to eat the next day.
  5. LUNCHES MUST BE DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL. 

In order to meet all these criteria, I realized that the key is having a well stocked fridge. My plan is to buy a few key ingredients every Friday, this way Sunday morning I can wake up, spend 30 minutes in the kitchen making some staple foods that we’ll call “building blocks” and have whatever I need all week long to throw together yummy and satisfying lunches. 

So heres how we’re going to do this. 

I’m going to give lists of BUILDING BLOCK ideas and recipes this way you can choose food that YOU like to eat. 

Then underneath, I’m going to include TONS of lunch ideas, some with recipes and some not b/c they’re self explanatory.

I will keep adding to this post as I go, so if you get bored of your lunches, or need some inspiration, just keep checking back! 

Also, if you have any awesome lunch ideas, send ’em my way!!!!

BUILDING BLOCKS

THESE ARE ALL FOODS YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM TO PREP AHEAD AND HAVE AVAILABLE ALL WEEK, IN YOUR FRIDGE, TO MAKE LUNCH CREATIONS SIMPLY, QUICKLY AND EASILY!

SALAD DRESSING/SAUCES

Roasted Garlic and Herb

Meme’s Supersized Lemon Vinaigrette 

Techina

Caesar Dressing

Creamy Sesame Dressing

Carrot Ginger Dressing

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Lightened Up Green Goddess Dressing

Spicy Peanut Sesame Dressing

PROTIENS:

Vegan Protiens:
  • Quinoa (think patties, to go in salads, use in place of sushi rice)
  • Nuts 
  • Tofu 

Try Spice crusted tofu cakes (kitchen-tested)

  • Techina
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Almond Butter
  • Peanut Butter
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Edamame
  • Miso paste
Vegetarian Proteins:
  • Eggs
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Seabass
  • Kani (fake crab)
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
Fleishig Protiens:
  • Grilled skirt steak 
  • Grilled chicken
  • Ground turkey (think burgers, chili, taco meat…)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cold cuts
  • Cubed Turkey Breast
DAIRY PROTEINS:
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low fat sour cream

VEGETABLES:

  • Roast you’re veggies in advance: pepper, onions, zucchini, eggplant, chickpeas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, peas, snap peas, string beans, carrots, corn
  • Zoodle your zucchini
  • Sautee onions
  • Wash lettuce for quick salads
  • Roast Spaghetti Squash

GRAINS:

  • Farro
  • Barley
  • Wheat Berries
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rice noodles
  • Brown rice
  • bulgur

BREADS/WRAPS:

Tortillas

Tacos

Whole wheat wraps

Sliced sourdough bread

Sourdough Rolls

ACTUAL LUNCH IDEAS:

Pick a few ideas every week and use the building blocks to figure out what ingredients you need to buy on the house and can prepare in advance to make your actual lunch assembly quick and easy!

Lunches you can assemble the night before and take on the go:
LUNCHES THAT ARE BEST MADE AND EATEN FRESH
  • String bean Shakshuka (kitchen-tested)
  • Hash brown eggs  (@just_food_by_t) (recipe on her Instagram feed!)
  • Spaghetti squash pizza
  • Mexican quinoa bake
  • panini wrap with avocado chickpeas and cheese
  • Veggie burger panini wrap
  • egg white and veggie sandwich/wrap
  • shakshuka 
  • quinoa burger with melted cheese
  • rice cakes with turkey
  • breaded cauliflower (the pre breaded, frozen ones), baked with sauce and cheese
  • feta cheese omelette
  • quesadillas 
  • burritos
  • smoothie with protein powder or ground nuts
  • pizza on a whole wheat wrap
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5 More So Simple Salad Dressings

        

                      

Salads are so personal. The addition or subtraction of one single component in a salad can make it or break it for people. For me it’s tomatoes. You stick even a few cherry tomatoes in that salad and I’m out. I could love every other thing in there and be totally addicted to the dressing, but once the juice of the tomatoes touches the other veggies it goes from appealing to completely off limits. 

That’s why, a while back, I gave you all a post all about the dressings. We all pretty much know what we want or are in the mood to throw in our salads, but when it comes to the dressing I think thats where most people get stumped. They either stick to the same old boring dressing they’ve been making for months years, or, even worse, they use, GASP, bottled dressing. Ugh, I know. That stuff is just not right. 

Really though, once you understand the really basic principles of making a good dressing, it’s so easy to whip up your own. If your interested in what those are click here to go the original post. Also, thats where the first 6 salad dressing recipes are. 

So, here I am again, posting another 6 dressings recipe for you to help with your summertime salad habits. All I crave in this heat is something light, crunchy, fresh and flavorful. Which basically means I’m making some sort of salad every single night. Usually it’s a full meal in a salad. It’s packed with veggies, topped with some sort of protein (grilled chicken, deli, steak or even feta cheese or crispy chickpeas) lightly sprinkled with a little crunch in the form of crispy homemade croutons or crou”tot”s, and drizzled with most yummy and satisfying salad dressing. 

I hope these dressings make many, many appearances on all your dinner tables all summer long!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Peas Out, 

Danielle

For the printable Mango Sumac Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Lightened Up Green Goddess Dressing recipe click here

For the printable Pomegranate Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Spicy Peanut Sesame Dressing recipe click here

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So Simple Salad Dressing Recipes

                 

               

I really don’t consider myself a food snob. I’m a lover of chinese food, eaten straight out of the box and a firm believer that no chocolate chip cookie recipe will ever compete with the ones that are made by just adding 3 ingredients to the mix that comes out of the red box (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, we can’t be friends). But, and this is a huge but, some foods, NEED to be homemade. On the top of that list is salad dressing. 

Home made salad dressing are a huge pet peeve of mine. They are really easy to make and taste significantly better. 

So many times, including in restaurants, the salad dressings taste so artificial and just not good. Not to mention the atrocity that is bottled salad dressing. That stuff is so gross! I recently had the pleasure (read: misfortune) to taste test a bunch of them. Let me just say that some of them were really difficult to get down and totally gag inducing.  They have a weird tangy sweetness and in my opinion, always just tastes off. 

But have no fear. A good salad dressing is actually sooooooo simple to make. They require virtually no prep time and can usually be made with regular everyday ingredients you already have in your house. 

As part of my movement to rid the world of bad salad dressings, I decided to give you all a bunch of really yummy and easy recipes. 

Before we dive into individual recipes though lets just talk salad dressing basics. There are a few fundamentals to a good dressing that really everyone should know. Once you know these principals you can pretty much stop reading this, because you will be able to make your own dressings, from scratch with out a recipe. 

But keep reading anyway because I actually spent time writing them out for you. Thanks, mwa.

Lets start with a vinaigrette. These are the lightest of all dressings. On the simplest level they’re merely any kind of acid (think lemon, lime, vinegar etc.) whisked together with oil salt and pepper. It’s usally a 2:1 ratio of oil:acid and in my opinion are the tastiest! They are flavorful but still light enough to allow you to actually taste the vegetables you are pouring them over. Plus, because the amounts of acidic fruits and vinegars out there is tremendous, the flavor combinations are endless. Which means you can basically have a different salad dressing every night and never get bored. 

Then there mayonnaise based dressings. From here you can go into directions. You can start by making your own mayo or used a store bought mayo as a base. I personally do both, depending on how much time I have. In my mind as long as the flavors are balanced both options are perfectly acceptable. Balancing flavors though is where it gets tricky.

When you make your own homemade mayo you can control the amounts of salt, sugar and lemon you use to make it, which makes it easier to balance the flavors after. Store bought mayos on the other hand come ready made, which means you have to TASTE them before you use them. Every brand tastes different. Some are sweeter, some are blander, mustard-ier (I’m copywriting that word), theres just no way to know unless you taste it! So, even though using mayo out of a jar saves time on the making-the-mayo step, you really need know how to adjust the recipe to suit which brand you are using. (*Sidenote-this is why you have to taste as you go along, even when you follow a recipe exactly because, like in this case if the recipe calls for mayo, if you don’t know what brand they used its may not taste the same). 

Once you settle on which mayo you are using you need to figure out how to flavor it. Now, in my mind the biggest offense of any salad dressing is when someone adds sugar or honey where it does not belong. Let me say this again, because this is insanely important. 

NOT ALL SALAD DRESSINGS NEED SUGAR OR HONEY.

In fact, most of them do not. Once in a while you may need a drop of honey or a pinch of sugar to balance out the tartness of a very strong vinegar that will over power your veggies however, most of the time it is completely unnecessary. It takes the beautiful, bright, fresh dressing you just made it and turns into something that tastes like it came out of a bottle. I don’t know when it became acceptable to put sugar in a caesar dressing but it needs to stop. Of the six dressing recipes I gave you only 1 contains honey and its because it needs it. Without it, the turmeric is too strong and overpowering. 

When flavoring a mayo I like to always start with my acid. From there I add in any garlic or onions and the season liberally with salt and pepper. Mayonaisse is very forgiving, so if you add too much of one thing, don’t worry about it. Just take a deep breath and figure out which ingredients you can add a little more of to balance it out. 

The last category of dressings is actually not a category at all. Its the NON-DRESSING DRESSINGS. What is that? Thats all the things that are not technically salad dressing but yet, can be used as one. Think techina, chumus, pesto etc. These are fun because they add variety to our regular arsenal of dressings.

Personally, of all of them techina is my favorite so, I’m going to include a basic recipe for that here also. But even within the techina world, you can totally individualize it. Add harissa for some middle eastern flavors, spice it up with a fire roasted jalapeño, go korean by dropping in a spoonful of gochujang, or add a handful of herbs for a green techina. 

Now that you have an understanding of what goes into, in my opinion, the two (but sort of 3 if you cont non-dressing-dressings) schools of dressings you can easily whip up a quick and easy salad to go along with your dinners.

Just incase you don’t feel like making up your own  though, I am giving you my easiest and most family friendly recipes. They are extremely versatile so feel free to play around and personalize them to your liking. 

Hope this posts makes your life a little easier and significantly more delicious! 

Peas out, 

Danielle

                      

For the printable Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Raspberry Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Roasted Garlic Dressing recipe click here

For the printable Caesar Dressing click here

For the printable Turmeric and Preserved Lime Vinaigrette click here

For the printable Tehini recipe click here

For the printable Creamy Sesame Dressing/Dip recipe click here

For the printable Carrot Ginger Dressing click here

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