Oh, poor little neglected blog, how I have missed you! Last semester was so crazy and so interesting (microbiology!) that I barely had time to procrastinate and since most of my blogging is born out of procrastination, things just kind of stopped around here. Luckily, I have a much easier course load this semester and I have already been accepted to nursing school (yay!), so hopefully things will start looking a little more normal around here…
I made this dip at the beginning of football season to go with some football watching. It was an instant hit in my (play)book and since the season is now only one game away from being over, I guess I better share it before it’s too late (I’m not even going to apologize for those horrible football puns).
Chipotle and ranch are probably two of my favorite flavors. Combining them resulted in what I think is the world’s best dip. This dip is the perfect combination of slightly spicy, tangy and absolutely delicious. I served the dip with some veggies and kettle chips, but I think it would be a great dipping sauce for chicken wings if they are your thing.
Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip
- 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
- 1/4 high-quality mayonnaise (I recommend Hollywood Safflower Mayo)
- 3 Tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
- 4 green onions, finely chopped and some reserved for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1+ canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (add more if you like it spicy!)
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, ranch mix, almost all the green onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and chipotle. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with veggies or potato chips.
Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged Appetizer, chipotle, dip, gluten free, greek yogurt, ranch, recipes, vegetarian
My wonderful friend Zack sent me this recipe last week and told me to “stop what I was doing and make this”. Zack and I have fairly similar palates, so I had a feeling that I would like this salad. I didn’t just like this salad, I loved it. I have yet to find a combination of cilantro and lime that I dislike, so I might not be the most neutral judge, but this salad was pretty close to perfect. Chickpeas make a really great neutral base, which allows the other flavors to really shine through.
I ended up accidentally doubling recipe. I was trying to use up some use it or lose it spinach, which ended up being way more than the originally suggested four cups. It turned out to be a fortunate accident since I had leftovers for days. I upped the amount of garlic and took it easier on the olive oil. I also omitted the sugar the original recipe called for, but that’s just a personal preference. I never add sugar to any type of dressing.
Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad
- 4 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 6 loosely packed cups fresh spinach
- 1 onion, chopped diced
- juice from 8 limes
- 1 bunch of cilantro (about loosely packed cup)
- 4 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3/4 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Chop the spinach very finely (feel free to use a food processor and pulse 3-4 times). Add the chickpeas, onion, and spinach to a large bowl.
- In the same food processor add the lime juice, cilantro, mustard, garlic, chili powder, and olive oil. Blend until it comes together into a dressing, about 30-45 seconds.
- Pour over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for at least 15 minutes on the counter (or overnight in the fridge) to let the flavors get friend.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, vegetarian
Tagged chickpeas, cooking, food, gluten free, recipes, salad, spinach, vegan, vegetarian
At the beginning of my summer break I managed to squeeze in a few quick trips to visit some friends. A long, relaxing weekend in San Francisco and a quick cross-country jaunt to Washington, DC. I first had this salad at Granville Moore’s on H Street. It was a delightful start of a delicious meal.
DC was hot and humid (aka gross), but the muggy weather helped to make this salad even more enjoyable. The icy cold watermelon is perfect anytime during the summer, but paired with the peppery arugula and crunchy pickled onions it was even sweeter and more delicious.
Watermelon & Feta Salad with Pickled Onions & Dill Vinaigrette
For the Pickled Onions:
- 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
For the Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
- 3 cups arugula
- 3 cups of baby spinach
- 2 cups cubed watermelon, well chilled
- 1/2 cup pickled onions (drained)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, or more to taste
- Start preparing the onions. Whisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using.
- Next prepare the vinaigrette. In a food processor, combine the oil, vinegar, dill weed, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard and pepper. Blend until smooth, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- When the onions and vinaigrette are ready, prepare the salad. Arrange the arugula and spinach on a serving platter. Scatter the pickled onions over the top, followed by about half of the crumbled feta, then the watermelon cubes, and finally the remaining feta. Use a spoon to drizzle dill vinaigrette over the salad immediately before serving.
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged cooking, dressing, food, gluten free, onions, recipes, salad, vegetarian, vinegar, watermelon
I think this salad is a perfect for any 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Not only are the colors fun and spot on for the holiday, the ingredients are absolutely fantastic together! The salty blue cheese, earthy quinoa and sweet blueberries each bring great flavors that manage to complement each other perfectly.
I used balsamic raspberry vinegar, which unfortunately muddled the color of the quinoa and blue cheese a bit. I know if I used a lighter vinegar (white wine, cider) the color would be perfect. I also found the raspberry balsamic to be a bit too sweet for my personal taste. The tangy blue cheese helped tone it down slightly, but I think I would try a less sweet vinegar next time.
Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad
For the Dressing:
- 5 Tablespoons balsamic raspberry vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
- Before cooking the quinoa, soak it in some cold water (about 20 minutes) to rinse off some of its natural bitterness.
- Add quinoa and broth to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes).
- While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing together and set aside.
- Add the blue cheese, chives and place this in with all the blueberries into a large bowl.
- Once you drain the quinoa, cool it off till it is slightly warm or room temperature and pour the raspberry vinaigrette and mix that through.
- Let the quinoa cool down some more before mixing in the cheese, blueberries and chives (otherwise your blue cheese will melt.)
- Gently fold in raspberries before serving, being careful not to smush them.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Holidays, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish
Tagged blue cheese, blueberry, cheese, cooking, food, gluten free, quinoa, recipes, salad, side dish, vegetarian
This was my first attempt at making soufflés and I must say I was quite impressed. I know I have had soufflés in the past, but I only remember them being in dessert form, so I really had no idea what was going to happen once I closed the oven door. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The texture was wonderful, really light and airy with just a little bit of crisp from the top crust. I really like that you could taste the goat cheese in every bite as well.
I think for this recipe to be a success, a scale is going to be necessity. I absolutely adore my small little kitchen scale and it’s definitely one of the most worthwhile investments I’ve made in a kitchen accessory. At the time I didn’t have any one cup ramekins to bake these, so used half cup ramekins instead. I have since found bigger ramekins at Ikea for next to nothing, so next time I will try the bigger cup.
Gluten Free Goat Cheese SoufflÃ©s
- 25g/1 ounce butter
- 25g/1 ounce flour (I used Better Batter)
- 250g/8.8 ounces soft goat's cheese , crumbled
- 50g/2 ounces Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
- 5 eggs, separated
- 250ml/1 cup milk
- Heat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Butter 4 x 250ml/1 cup soufflé dishes. (I used 8 half cup ramekins.)
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time to make a thick sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of the floury taste.
- Stir in the cheeses and chives then add 4 of the egg yolks, season generously and mix well.
- In a clean bowl, whisk all the egg whites until they are stiff and form soft peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture and pour into the buttered soufflé dishes.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes until the soufflés are risen and golden.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged cheese, cooking, food, gluten free, recipes, side dish, vegetarian
I was quite happy to find asparagus everywhere at farmers’ market last weekend. I love asparagus, especially during the spring when it’s super thin and not gross and woody. Roasting just about any vegetable makes it about 100 times better in my book and asparagus is no exception. Roasting the asparagus give it a little crispy crust to the tips that is just amazing. While not a traditional Irish side dish, it’s green, seasonal and delicious. It’s also one of the simplest side dishes in the world. Perfect for a quick, weeknight dinner or a fancy dinner party.
This dish is adapted from my balsamic roasted asparagus, but I made an amazing garlic brown butter sauce instead of the balsamic. As much as I love balsamic, it is a bit harsh and very overpowering. I think the garlic brown butter sauce works with a lot more dishes.
Excuse the Instagram photo, I wasn’t planning on posting this originally, but it turned out too delicious not to.
Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Brown Butter
- Heat oven to 400F/200C.
- Arrange the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray until coated and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the asparagus in the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender and just starting to crisp.
- While the asparagus is in the oven, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is almost completely melted, add in the minced garlic. Stir to coat. Allow the garlic to cook until crispy, stirring occasionally so the butter and garlic don't burn.
- When the asparagus is done, place in serving dish and pour garlic and butter over. Serve immediately.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Holidays, Recipes, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged asparagus, food, garlic, gluten free, recipes, side dish, vegetarian
Look beyond the Irish Beef Stew and let’s talk about the potatoes. I’m Irish. I love potatoes. I’m basically a potato expert. While I have nothing against tried and true, plain mashed potatoes, sometimes you just need to spice things up a bit. I like horseradish quite a lot and horseradish is quite nice with beef dishes. I knew I was going to like these, but I was very pleasantly surprised about how well the horseradish went with the stew. The horseradish really brought out the best of the flavors on the stew. I think these potatoes would be the perfect side dish to any St. Patrick’s Day meal
Horseradish & Scallion Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 stick softened butter or 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup milk
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2+ tablespoons prepared horseradish (I think more is better)
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped scallions
- Put the potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let sit until just cool enough to handle, then peel and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the butter/oil to the potatoes. Add the milk, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper to taste; mash with a potato masher or large fork.
- Fold in the horseradish and half the scallions. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining scallions.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged cooking, food, gluten free, potatoes, recipes, side dish, vegetarian
I will fully confess this salad was made out of desperation. I got a little overzealous at Costco and bought a 5 pound bag of baby spinach. It was $3.79, seemed like such a great idea at the time. Do you know how much baby spinach is in a 5 pound bag of baby spinach? FIVE pounds. Do you know how hard it is to come up with new ideas to use up 5 pounds of baby spinach? Real hard. There are only so many green smoothies and sautéed spinach one can consume. I have gotten to the point I just google spinach and any other random ingredients I can think of and hope something worthwhile comes up. I’ve been hitting a lot of duds, but I really lucked out with this one.
I personally don’t like super oily vinaigrettes (or oily anything), so I tend to skimp on that. I just couldn’t get a taste I liked with just the limes for acidity, so I added in a bit of white wine vinegar to try to get the flavors to blend a bit better. Perfect fix. I added the feta at the last-minute (an other Costco purchase that needs to be used… I need to stop doing this to myself). I think it gave the salad a tangy bite that worked really well with the other flavors.
I also have to admit I am totally embarrassed by the fact that I took the time to cut the strawberries into hearts. Who does that? It’s a
cheesy cute idea for a Valentine’s Day salad if you have the need for such a thing. This salad is definitely tasty enough to share.
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad
For the Salad:
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped candied walnuts
- 1 cups strawberries, halved (cut into hearts if you're crazy)
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 avocado, diced
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil (I don't like oily vinaigrettes, use more if you do)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large serving bowl, add the spinach, strawberries, shallots and feta.
- In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, grainy mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle on the walnuts and add the diced avocado.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Holidays, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged avocado, food, gluten free, nuts, onions, recipes, spinach, strawberries, vegetarian