So, this is my recreation of a salad I’ve never eaten, from a restaurant I have never been to, but have talked about going to a lot. Blue Barn is a deli in San Francisco that has a creative menu with a local and organic focus. I think every time I have gone to visit my friends in San Francisco we have discussed going there and even attempted to go twice, but every single time something thwarts our plans. Since so many attempts have been made to get to this restaurant I have looked over their menu many times and every time this salad stood out to me.
After my last trip to San Francisco and another failed visit to the restaurant, I decided to attempt my own version. I have absolutely no idea how close or accurate an interpretation this is of the Blue Barn original, but damned if I can, it was absolutely delicious!
I did make a couple minor changes. Instead of sun-dried tomatoes, I used oven roasted roma tomatoes and instead of grilled balsamic onions, I again used oven roasted balsamic onions (I used this recipe, minus the sugar). For the crispy chickpeas, I made garlic and paprika roasted chickpeas (using this recipe). They were delicious and the leftovers made for a great snack later in the week.
Now, I will admit, there are a lot of parts to this salad and most of them have to be prepared individually ahead of time, which is kind of a major pain, but since I knew I would like all the ingredients in the salad, I didn’t mind taking the extra time and effort to prepare everything. Plus, you’ll have a lot of leftovers of the individual ingredients, so they are perfect for other salads during the week, adding to other meals (the roasted tomatoes and balsamic onions were heavenly with a turkey burger), or as snacks.
For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon grainy dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
- 1 large handful mixed greens
- 1 large handfuls arugula
- 1 ounce grated manchego
- 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- 2 Tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 whole roasted roma tomatoes
- 1/3 cup roasted balsamic onions
- 1/3 cup roasted chickpeas
For the Vinaigrette:
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
For the Salad:
- Prepare all the ingredients. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and serve.
Posted in Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad, vegetarian
Tagged artichoke, cheese, chickpeas, food, gluten free, onions, recipes, salad, tomato, vegetarian
This salad is sweet, tangy and delicious. I originally read a similar recipe in a magazine while sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office. I was intrigued because I love love pineapple, but it had cucumber in it, which I absolutely abhor! Cumber is one of the four foods in the world that turn me into a picky eater toddler throwing a tantrum at the dinner table. I will not eat them. I do not like them touching my food and I will sit and pout if they are near my plate (bananas, celery and eggplant would be the others). I have been using a lot of jicama this summer and thought that it would make a great substitute for cucumber. It has the same kind of crunchy texture.
I served this salad with a side of chips for a super chunky chips and salsa kind of thing. You could also serve it over a bed of mixed greens or it would also go great with some grilled shrimp or tequila lime chicken as well.
Pineapple Jicama Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette (gluten free)
For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil (I used 3)
For the salad:
- 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
- 1 small jicama, peeled and diced into cubes
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, pitted and diced
For the Vinaigrette:
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well blended. Set aside. (Vinaigrette can be made ahead of time and will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.)
For the salad:
- Combine all ingredients, except the avocado, in a bowl and mix together. Add desired amount of vinaigrette and toss to coat. Salad can now be kept in fridge for up to 4 hours or served immediately.
- Right before serving add avocado and gently toss to to coat avocado with dressing, but be sure not to mush it too much.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan
Tagged black beans, food, gluten free, jicama, onions, pineapple, recipes, salad, side dish, tomato, vegan, vegetarian
Disclosure: The Veggetti®, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Ontel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have wanted to get a spiralizer for a while now, but the cost, size and valuable kitchen storage space it would take up always prevented me. Enter the Veggetti! The Veggetti is a handheld device that quickly turns your veggies into veggie noodles. Veggie noodles offer not only a healthier, lower-carb alternative to regular pasta, but a gluten free one too. The Veggetti is also quick and easy to use and it’s dishwasher safe, which makes clean up a breeze.
I have used my Veggetti with zucchini, squash, potatoes, and carrots. All of them worked out perfectly, except for the carrots. I think the carrots I tried to use were too narrow. So far I am really impressed by how easy the Veggetti is to use, how sturdy it is and how small it is. It fits perfectly in a kitchen drawer. The only downside I have found, and it’s kind of a silly one, is how insanely long the noodles are. I would definitely recommend cutting them up once you are done spiralizing them.
If you would like to get your own Veggetti® , you can go here to learn more at www.getveggetti.com OR you can enter my giveaway! One reader will win a Veggetti of their very own – plus a $25 Visa Gift Card to stock their vegetable crisper!
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Zucchini Noodles with Cilantro Pesto & Halloumi AND a Giveaway!
- 1 zucchini
- 1 summer squash
- 1 pack of halloumi cut into slices
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
For the Cilantro Pesto:
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds
- 4+ garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese (or parmesan), grated
- 1 bunch cilantro, with most of the stem removed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 1 generous pinch red chili flakes (optional)
- Use the Veggetti to spiralize the zucchini and squash and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add halloumi and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Place on a paper towel to drain.
- In a large bowl, toss the zucchini noodles with as much cilantro pesto as you like and the rest of the ingredients, except the halloumi. Divide between two plates and top with halloumi and serve.
For the Pesto
- Place the almonds in a food processor until they are finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
Posted in Food, Gluten-free, Pasta, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged cheese, food, gluten free, olives, onions, recipes, tomato, vegetarian, zucchini
I have a tendency to buy things in bulk. It’s next to impossible to say no to three pounds of baby spinach at Costco for under 4 bucks. The only downside is three pounds of baby spinach is a lot of baby spinach. So in another effort to clean out the fridge, I have attempted to add spinach to everything. This isn’t a recipe so much as it is an idea of flavor combinations and the possibilities are really endless.
I really love this dressing, especially when paired with the sweet mandarins. It was a great combination. I also found this salad to be surprisingly filling. It made for a great lunch. I think the addition of grilled chicken or shrimp would easily make it into a wonderful dinner. If I was to make this salad again, I think adding crumbled feta and dried cranberries would be delicious. Strawberries, granny smith apples, or pecans would also be good substitutes (or additions too).
Posted in Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad, Vegan, vegetarian
Tagged gluten free, onions, oranges, recipes, salad, spinach, vegan, vegetarian
This week I am sharing some of favorite brunch recipes. I absolutely love brunch and summer weekends seem to just demand them. These recipes don’t demand too much cook and can mostly be prepared ahead to time, which gives you more time to relax, enjoy your weekend and enjoy some extra mimosas with your friends.
This frittata is pretty much perfect if you ask me. It’s easy to make, it can help you clean out your vegetable drawer and it reheats wonderfully. I just used the vegetables I had on hand, but you can add just about anything you want to this frittata. Broccoli, bell peppers, jalapeños or fresh herbs, like basil or chives, would all be great additions.
- 1 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2+ cloves garlic, minced
- 6+ large mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 tomatoes, chopped with seeds removed
- 1 cup baby spinach, roughly torn or chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar)
- 6 large eggs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking dish (I used a 9 inch pie dish).
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until beginning to brown. Then add the green onions, mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spinach. Sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or just until the spinach is wilted. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Finish cooking in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until the eggs have completely set in the center.
Posted in Breakfast, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged breakfast, brunch, cooking, food, gluten free, mushrooms, onions, recipes, spinach, tomato, vegetarian
This recipe is a combination of things I was craving and things I needed to use up. If you have some leftover chicken and tortillas (both are pretty standard leftovers around my kitchen), this is the perfect recipe to use them all up. I really like to make a batch of shredded barbecue chicken to use throughout the week (this is my favorite recipe, but you could easily combine any leftover chicken with bbq sauce). It’s perfect to add to salads or as your meal’s main protein, but I wanted to try something a little different and these taquitos seemed like an easy way to do just that. I was able to get 24 taquitos out of the barbecue chicken recipe I mentioned above (I could have made a couple more but I had already put away the tortillas and cheese), which is a whole lot of taquitos. After a couple dinners and lunches, I froze the leftovers, which defrosted easily in the microwave and I crisped them up again with a few minutes in the oven.
I always bake my taquitos because I just don’t have the patience to fry things. Plus, baking them healthier, you don’t have to stand over a hot pot of oil and it’s less of a mess to clean up, which are all big pluses in my book. I put about two tablespoons of chicken and a sample sprinkling of cheese in each tortilla. I was able to roll them tight enough that they stayed shut when I placed them seam side down on the baking sheet. If you want more filling or are having trouble getting them to stay closed, wooden toothpicks will easily solve that problem.I like my taquitos (and just about everything else) on the crispier side, so while the ends might look a bit burnt, it was really just a combination of caramelized barbecue sauce and cheese.
Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip
For the Taquitos
- Heat oven to 400. Line two large baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Combine chicken and barbecue sauce.
- Wrap 12 tortillas in a damp paper towel. Place in microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Flip over and microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove from microwave.
- Add around two tablespoons of chicken to one side (almost to the very edge) of a corn tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Tightly roll the side with the chicken toward the other side of the tortilla and place seam side down on the baking sheet (use wooden toothpicks if they won't stay together). Repeat until all tortillas are filled and then begin again with the next 12 tortillas until all are filled and rolled.
- Place baking sheets in oven and cook 20-25 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy.
- Serve immediately. For your leftovers, I recommend that you let them cool completely and place into large freezer bags and freeze for future dinners and snacks.
For the Avocado Ranch Dip
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more juice if needed to thin out dip. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.
Posted in Appetizer, BBQ, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes
Tagged Appetizer, cheese, chicken, food, gluten free, onions, recipes
Last weekend I popped up to San Francisco for a quick visit with friends and my blog and computer decided they wanted a vacation too. Technical problems seem to be resolved for the most part, so let’s get back to it. Cinco de mayo is rapidly approaching and since I like any excuse to eat Mexican food, I plan on taking full advantage of the fact this week. Most of these recipes aren’t super traditional or exactly authentic, but they are delicious enough for any fiesta.
This queso is super tasty. I added some of my favorite spring ingredients (mushrooms, leeks and spinach) and they really added a lot of flavor to the queso. They mushrooms added a great earthy flavor, which worked really well with the tangy goat cheese. The chiles add just a little bit of spiciness. I served my queso with tortilla chips, but it would also go well with veggies, crackers or bread.
My oven, like all the other machines in my life, has also been a bit temperamental lately (had to get the igniter replaced… again…), which has changed my oven’s personality somewhat. It seems to be cooking a bit lower or slower (I’m still trying to figure it out). After 25 minutes the queso was definitely bubbly and ready to serve, but there was absolutely no color to the top of it, which made it look like a blob of boring, white cheese. It’s not a requirement, but I like a little bit of a brown crust on my baked dips. It took me at least 35 minutes to get any type of color to the dip and as you can see in the picture it still came out a bit splotchy. Despite my odd requirements for baked dip coloration, the end product was delicious.
Gluten Free Green Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
- 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 (10 ounce) can green chiles, diced (chop finely if using whole chiles)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and onion cook until softened and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Spread leeks, mushrooms, spinach over the bottom of a small ovenproof casserole or gratin dish. In a large bowl, combine goat cheese, Jack cheese, and chiles and mix until combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly over mushrooms and bake until bubbling, about 25-35 minutes. Serve hot.
Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Holidays, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged Appetizer, cheese, food, gluten free, goat cheese, mexican, mushrooms, onions, recipes, spinach
This dish is pure comfort food if you ask me. It’s hearty enough for a cold winter’s night, but still light enough to be a great transitional meal when spring hasn’t quite decided if it wants to be hot or cold yet. The meat and vegetables make it both filling and nutritious. You will get a lot of leftovers out of this recipes, which is a plus in my book. I also thought that the ragout tasted even better then next day.
Polenta is not everyone’s favorite food, but I happen to really like it. I think it makes a great base for a meal and keeps amazingly well for leftovers. You can top it with just about anything. I really like making my polenta with added goat cheese. It gives it both a creamy and tangy bite that I think goes really well with tomato based sauces.
Goat Cheese Polenta with Turkey & Veggie Ragout
For the Turkey Ragout:
- 1 1/4 pound extra-lean ground turkey
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (14 1/2) ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
- 1 large red sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
For the Polenta:
- 1 cup quick-cooking/instant polenta
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese, slightly crumbled
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For Serving (optional):
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet, cook ground beef until brown. Drain off any extra fat.
- In the same skillet, heat olive oil. When heated add onions and bell pepper. Cook about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add in carrots, zucchini and garlic, along with undrained tomatoes, broth and salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on low-heat until all the vegetables are cooked through and tomato and broth have slightly thickened.
- Meanwhile, prepare polenta according to package directions. I recommend using low-sodium vegetable broth for extra flavor. When polenta is almost cooked through, stir in goat cheese and butter.
- Spoon polenta into individual serving bowls and top with ragout mixture over polenta. Top individual bowls with pesto and garnish with basil and freshly ground pepper.
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes
Tagged cheese, food, gluten free, onions, polenta, recipes, tomato, turkey