Recipe: The Best Salad Ever

This salad is dead simple. And delicious. And I could probably eat it every day for the rest of my life. I had one last night, and this morning for breakfast.

YES- breakfast salad is a thing.

Let’s get this out of the way: This salad is vegetarian, but it is not vegan. To my knowledge, there is no goat cheese vegan substitute.

The Best Salad Ever

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of greens (I like Romaine, arugula, endive, radicchio, and a fistful of spinach)
  • 1 cup strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cut into bite-size pieces (leave the skin on)
  • 1/4 c candied pecans, roughly chopped
  • 4-ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients in a large chilled salad bowl- serve ASAP.

This recipe serves 4-6 as a side dish or 2-3 as a main dish. None of these ingredients are hard to find- I picked everything up at Target (I ordered on the app of course, and I did drive up pick up with the kids after school!).

It is really tasty with grilled chicken breast on top.

Family Recipe: Tortellini Salad

This is a super easy recipe that my mom has been making for 25+ years. She got the idea from a recipe in a cooking magazine that started with a bag of frozen veggies that was thawed.

She subbed out the frozen veggies for fresh ones, added some cubed cheese, and tortellini salad became a family hit! It is great for picnics, potlucks, and family parties. It’s a staple at our July 4th party!

Tortellini Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package cheese tortellini, cooked per package directions, drained, and rinsed.
  • 1 cup of your favorite Italian Salad Dressing
  • 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained. and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small package pepperoni (or salami- your choiceof), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small can sliced black olives, drained

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the cooked and cooled tortellini, cheese, veggies, meat, and salad dressing.
  2. Store in the fridge covered for at least overnight before serving it. Add additional dressing as needed (sometimes the tortellini soaks up a little bit of dressing).
  3. As a side dish, it serves 6-8, and as a main dish 3-4.

 

Substitutions:

  • If you are vegan, sub out vegan tortellini and vegan cheese.
  • If you are Gluten Free, sub out GF tortellini.

If you like tomatoes, it’s also great with about 1 cup of cherry/grape tomatoes (I slice them in half).

 

Family Recipe: Cindy’s Spinach Salad

This salad is courtesy of my Aunt Cindy. I don’t remember when or where this salad originally came from, but she introduced it into our lives in my youth.

If you don’t like Spinach, you will love this salad.

Cindy’s Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag triple-washed spinach (approx 10 ounces)
  • 1 small can of mandarin oranges (drained and rinsed)- Or you can use 2 fresh peeled mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup French Fried Onions
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing

Directions:

  1. In a large chilled bowl, combine all ingredients and serve straightaway.

This serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side dish. This recipe is naturally vegan.

This is also great as a main dish topped with 4-6 ounces of your favorite grilled protein (I like chicken breast).

 

Hearty Green Goddess Salad

I love Green Goddess Salad Dressing. For those who aren’t familiar with Green Goddess Dressing, per wikipedia: Green goddess is a salad dressing, typically containing mayonnaise, sour cream, chervil, chives, anchovy, tarragon, lemon juice, and pepper.

A few months ago, I found some vegan Green Goddess Dressing– I like it because it gets its creaminess from avocado instead of mayo and sour cream, and it lasts a bit longer in the fridge.

I love making hearty salads that can withstand a few days in the fridge. It’s a great way to make sure you have yummy veggies on hand for a snack or to add to meal time.

Hearty Green Goddess Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 Persian cucumbers, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 dry pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used a red one, but whatever color you have works)
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup Green Goddess Dressing (I like Gotham Greens)

Directions:

  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients.
  • Store in the fridge overnight to allow flavors to mingle.
  • Serve as is, or top a bed of green.

Serves 3-5.

Trying to Add Veggies to Your Meals?

Is one of your New Years Resolutions to eat better or increase your intake of fruits and veggies?

Since we have been getting CSA boxes from Yasukochi Family Farms we’ve been adding tons of fresh fruit and veg to our diet. It’s fun to get the kids involved in preparing and tasting new and different fruits and veggies.

I’ve made a round-up with some of my favorite fruit and veggie recipes to inspire you to add a little more “green” to your family’s meals!

Easy, Tasty Tabouli Recipe!

I love tabouli (tabouleh)- It’s easy to make, and it keeps in the fridge for up to a week (if it lasts that long). It’s a delicious, easy summer salad.

This is my spin on traditional tabouli- I use Right Rice in place of bulgar wheat, but you can use whatever grain you like. Couscous, quinoa, or Israeli couscous are all great choices. My kids don’t like bulgar wheat.

This week in our Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box we received: Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lemon, and parsley.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grains of your choice, cooked as directed ( I use garlic herb or original Right Rice)
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced (I used larger English cucumbers, but you can use the small Persian cukes and slice them into “coins”)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, diced
  • 1.5 cups parsley, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped finely (I like yellow or red)
  • 1/4 cup your favorite oil (olive or avocado are my favs)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook your grains per the package direction, and set them aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all veggies and toss with oil and lemon juice mixture.
  4. Fold in the cooled grains.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours minimum before serving.
  6. Season with additional kosher salt, and black pepper to taste as needed.

This salad goes great with hummus, pita, and grilled protein. I’ll have an awesome hummus recipe up in a few days!

This recipe is naturally vegan. If you use Quinoa or Right Rice, it is gluten-free as well.

 

8/1/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWOO- 17 more days until school starts! Not that I’m counting, but the big kid yesterday was lamenting that it was *still* summer vacation and that we wanted to go back to school.

For the most part, summer lunch distribution is over, and we’re using up coupons and other freebies to stretch our end-of-summer frivolity.

There are a few events that we are going to this week, including this one.

I went to the grocery store on Friday and stocked up on snacks, and we also did a big Costco Trip to stock up on some staples that we were running low on (and a rotisserie chicken, because, YUM).

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

We are skipping our CSA box this week, we’ve still got a lot left from last week.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I spend about an hour on Monday afternoon cleaning and prepping veggies for the rest of the week.

I meal prepped over the weekend and got lots of veggies roasted, rice for lunches, and the rotisserie chicken broken down. I may be making some soup this week too.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. The kids are digging leftovers from dinner, or quesadillas.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Chef Salad (lettuce, spinach, bacon, hardboiled eggs, carrots, corn, leftover roasted veggies)
  • Monday: Chicken Arabiatta, chopped salad, garlic bread
  • Tuesday:  Breakfast for dinner (Pancakes, eggs, fruit)
  • Wednesday:  Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Thursday: Impossible Burger taco salad
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

5/23/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpg

The fridge was fixed on Tuesday and I filed claims for the lost groceries through the warranty, however, the check hasn’t yet arrived yet.

I have yet to shop for groceries this week, but at least I know what’s in our CSA box that arrives tomorrow.

The CSA emails us in advance to give us a heads up as to what may be in our boxes each week, and that really gives me an upper hand when it comes to meal planning for the week.

Veggies and fruit are delivered each Monday by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I spend about an hour on Monday afternoon cleaning and prepping veggies for the rest of the week.

I’ll be hitting up the grocery store this afternoon. Today I’m making a big batch of bolognese sauce today- I’ll be using it a few times this week, and freezing the rest for future use.  Tomorrow once the CSA box arrives I’ll prep the veggies and fruit for the rest of the week.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: Kids take lunch to school. I eat leftovers. Everyone rejoices.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Bolognese Sauce, pasta, roasted cauliflower
  • Monday:   BBQ chicken, salad, texas toast
  • Tuesday:   Soup Night: Soup, biscuits, fruit salad
  • Wednesday:  Nugget night (nuggets, fruit, crackers, milk)
  • Thursday:   Baked Ziti (with bolognese sauce, cheese, and veggies: zucchini, carrots, onions, celery)
  • Friday:  Pizza/Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Meal o’ Snacks and /or leftovers

Please stay safe you guys!

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

Recipe: Easy Spanish Tortilla

I know y’all want the recipe first and more info and tips afterward, so here ya go:

Spanish Tortilla (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large potato, peeled and sliced very thinly
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, color of your choice (I used green)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 T butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 c half and half
  • 1/2 c shredded cheese, your choice
  • 1/2 c Cooked bacon crumbles
  • Salt, pepper
  • Chopped green onion for garnish

Directions:

  1. Using half of the butter, sauté onion and pepper until softened and onions are clear, about five minutes on medium.
  2. Add remaining butter, allow to melt, coat pan, and add potatoes so they are separated and evenly dispersed throughout the pan.
  3. Cook on low until potatoes are translucent, about five to 10 minutes on medium.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, in a mixing bowl crack eggs, add half-and-half. Add salt and pepper, beat vigorously until well blended.
  5. Remove pan from heat, pour egg mixture over top of vegetables make sure egg mixture is evenly distributed throughout the pan, covering veggies.
  6. Top with bacon crumbles and shredded cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 for between 12 and 18 minutes, until eggs are set and cooked through.
  8. Allow to cool to room temp, slice, and top with chopped green onion for garnish.
  9. Serve with avocado and corn salsa, recipe be found here. This makes a great dinner or breakfast or whenever. It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s very tasty, and it is a good use of veggies.

Other good veggies to include are zucchini (saute in butter with onions), or tomatoes (place thin slices on the very top after all of the ingredients are in the pan). Regarding the potatoes, I used a knife and thinly sliced the potatoes into circles, but you can use a mandoline if you have one.

You need to use a pan that is oven-safe. If you don’t have one, you can cook your tortilla on the stove. Instead of turning off the stove in step 5, turn down the heat to low, add egg mixture. Once the eggs have set around the edges, using a spatula, loosen the edges, and wiggle your spatula under the tortilla, and gently flip it over. Cook until both sides of the tortilla are set and cooked throughout.

Spanish Tortillas are not bread-based, in fact, there is zero bread involved. Spanish Tortillas are more like frittatas or a crustless quiche- the only constant ingredients are eggs and potatoes. The rest of the ingredients are up to you. It’s a great way to use veggies and cheese hanging around your fridge.

They are great for any meal. Add a side of fruit for breakfast, or a bright salad with a tangy vinaigrette for lunch or dinner.

If you are a vegetarian, omit the bacon.

A lovely patio in Spain. Makes you want tapas, right?

Rubio’s Celebrates National Shrimp Day with $6 Shrimp Entrées

YUM! IF you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I love Rubio’s. They started here in San Diego, and they have such a wide array of tasty food!

Celebrate National Shrimp Day at Rubio’s on Monday, May 10, when all Rubio’s shrimp entrées are just $6 with the purchase of any drink. Simply enter the coupon code MKTG1124 with your order through the Rubio’s app, or online at Rubios.com. Or, show the coupon when you order at any Rubio’s.

Guests can order any shrimp entrée on the menu, including the seasonal favorite, the Smoky Oaxacan Shrimp Bowl. Rubio’s shrimp is responsibly sourced and marinated in a blend of ancho chiles, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and lime. Next, it is pan-seared on an authentic Mexican comal.

Rubio’s locations across California, Arizona, and Nevada are open. Guests may order online, or through the app, for contact-free curbside or express pickup, or delivery for just $1.99. For more information and to view the menu, visit Rubio’sFacebook and Instagram.