Tag Archives: Healthy Eating

Deconstructed Club Sandwich Salad

Club Sandwich Salad2

Isn’t deconstructed food fun? Whenever I see deconstructed dishes on a menu I get excited. It’s neat to see a creative chef break down all the delightful components of a classic dish. Unfortunately, I am much better at eating these reinterpretations then dreaming them up myself :). In that case, it’s lucky I can get my hands on a good cookbook.

Club Sandwich Salad

Also in my last life, I spent a few weeks participating in a blog series to promote Patricia Wells’ new cookbook, Salad as a Meal. It was a very fun few weeks! I sampled lots of recipes from her lovely book and enjoyed an abundance of fresh vegetables for lunch and dinner for weeks on end. What could be bad about that?

Though I’m sorry to say I’ve not cooked from it since. I mostly blame this on my hoarder-like collection of cookbooks, most of which remain firmly on the shelf while I browse through Barnes and Noble and buy even more (help).

But now it’s spring again and time to bring back the main course salad in all it’s glory. We can thank Patricia for this delicious idea…but here is my bacon-less adaption. You can add the pork back in if you like, I might be the only non-vegetarian on the planet who loves avocado more :).

Deconstructed Club Sandwich Salad

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, avocado and lettuce. Toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the ingredients.

Place a slice of toast on each plate and lightly drizzle with dressing. Layer half of the chicken on each slice. Sprinkle salad over top and finish with a few cracks of salt and pepper to taste.

*I poached my own chicken and made my own dressing but sometimes I have too much time on my hands. If you’re in a pinch, let someone else do it for you!

Serves Two

xo Beth

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Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake Smoothie

It’s springtime, it’s smoothie time.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie5

Not in an I-ate-too-many-Christmas-cookies-now-I’m-going-to-drink-green-smoothies-until-I-feel-righteous-again kind of way, just in a cool smoothies on a warm day taste delicious kind of way. Which is a much better way, really.

Cool smoothies on a warm day are an excellent combination, this is true. An even excellent-er combination? Peanut butter and banana. Probably the best in the world! Marry the two in smoothies, oatmeal, sandwiches, cookies, even on their own as a snack…they’re just a decadently delicious pair. And healthy too! How did that happen.

So drink this smoothie that tastes more like a milkshake, give yourself a pat on the back for being such a health nut and go enjoy that sunshine. Slurp.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie6

Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake Smoothie

  • 1 banana, cut in chunks and frozen
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

Pop all of your ingredients except spices into a blender, top with the lid and blend at high speed for 30 seconds or so. Split the smoothie between two glasses, top with a pinch of each of the spices. Serve immediately.

Serves Two

xo Beth

Warm Ratatouille over Cous Cous

Warm Ratatouille2

This much I know. If you are what you eat, then I only wanna eat the good stuff. – Disney’s Ratatouille

Although I normally cannot stand rats, Remy the rat is pretty much the cutest thing ever. And so wise! I love that little quote and try to apply it to my own daily foodie philosophy :).

It was way too gorgeous outside today, which put my taste buds in the mood for something full of fresh summer flavor for dinner. In deciding what that would be, I flipped straight to the Summer Supper section of Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights.

I know, I know – it’s not even close to summer yet and none of the veggies used in this dish tonight are locally grown. But for one night it’s okay to pretend, right? In that case I did not spend the day frolicking through the Metroparks but rather harvesting a bounty of summer vegetables for tonight’s dinner. Sure thing.

Packed full of eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, sweet onion and tomato, sprinkled with fresh cilantro. Served over a fluffy bed of cous cous, which pairs deliciously with the spicy crushed coriander stirred into this dish.

Warm Ratatouille <- Recipe Here

A bountiful bowl of “the good stuff”. Dig in!

xo Beth

Black Bean Ragout with Avocado, Crème Fraîche and Lime-Pickled Onion

Black Bean Ragout3

The list of things I am thankful for is long and eclectic: today’s absolutely lovely 70 degree weather and having the day off to enjoy it, tonight’s delicious homemade dinner and the cookbook that inspired it, my job, this blog and my readers and blends, my home, my family, my friends, most especially that they are all safe and well tonight…and finally some daylight during dinnertime for foodie photography lighting perfection.

Black Bean Ragout2

This Black Bean Ragout is a Smitten Kitchen recipe that hit. the. spot. Hearty, spicy ragout over thick garlicky toast, topped with cumin-scented crème fraîche, lime-pickled onion and fresh chopped cilantro. Plus a few wedges of avocado for good measure. A squeeze of lime and a few cracks of salt over the whole plate and oh my, are we in business.

The recipe is unfortunately not to be found on Deb’s blog but it can most certainly be found in her delightful book. Or just come on over and enjoy some leftovers with me! I made a full pound of beans my friends, there are a delicious lot.

My deepest sympathies go out to the victims of today’s tragedy in Boston. I can’t imagine. If anything, it is a strong reminder to be thankful for the little things, because we never know when someone or something might take them away. Lots of love and lots of hugs.

xo Beth

Creamy Greeny Chicken Tortellini Soup

Creamy Greeny Chicken Tortellini Soup

Isn’t soup the best? It’s warm and soothing and satisfying and really, you can throw all kinds of leftovers into a pot, cover them with broth and poof! Totally original soup. Meat, vegetables, beans, grains, wine…whatever you like! Throw it in. Well maybe not whatever you like, but you know.

Which is kind of how this recipe came about. It began with half a leftover roast chicken and the need to turn it into something more exciting than half a leftover roast chicken, which clearly no one wanted to eat. Once I’d found my recipe idea, I peeked into the fridge for what else we had and what could substitute for that we didn’t. All of a sudden, a very delicious soup was born!

So now we have leftovers of soup instead. If chicken becomes chicken soup, then what does chicken soup become? I don’t think there’s an answer for that, so let’s just hope it’s tasty enough to stand on its own for another round.

Creamy Greeny Chicken Tortellini Soup2

Yes, I think it is :).

Adapted from Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup with Kale by Eat Live Run

Creamy Greeny Chicken Tortellini Soup

  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Half a small roast chicken
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 heaping cup of baby kale
  • 1 heaping cup of arugula
  • 9 oz package of fresh tri-color tortellini
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add carrot and onion and cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add flour and stir well to coat the veggies.

Pour in chicken stock slowly. Next, add the chicken, garlic powder and tortellini and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes until pasta is plump and soft.

Stir in cream, arugula and kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for a few minutes longer until greens begin to wilt.

Serves 4

xo Beth

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Portabellas and Kale

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Portabellas2

Yes, after Chicago and CL birthday celebrations and Charlottesville and New York, it is true that my body could use a few more vegetables and a few less excuses to celebrate…well anything. And I think my bank account might be thankful for the cutback too.

Luckily I’ve been gifted a beaUtiful cookbook from our dear friend Kate, full of delightfully tempting recipes that focus on whole, healthy foods (yes). And so much color! Which is something we can all benefit from a little more of in this seemingly endless grey, grey winter. First day of spring Mother Nature? I would like to see some evidence of that.

In any case, my first attempt from this gorgeous recipe collection was absolutely delish. So if a few weeks of behaving means cooking and dining on dishes like this, then I’m sure it won’t be so hard at all.

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Portabellas

Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen, by Sara Forte

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Portabellas and Kale

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2.5 cups of 1% milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 4 portabella mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 4 heaping cups of baby kale
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put polenta in a medium saucepan with milk, water and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until creamy: 15-20 minutes. Add nutmeg, thyme, cheeses, salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes longer, then turn off heat and leave lid ajar.

In a large bowl, stir together oil, vinegar, herbes de Provence and a pinch of salt. Brush both sides of the mushrooms with the dressing and toss the kale with remaining dressing. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet, stem side up. Bake mushrooms for 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and spread kale over remaining space. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and roast until kale begins to wilt, about 5 minutes more.

To serve, place a scoop of creamy polenta on each plate. Top with a roasted portabella and finish with wilted kale. Eat and feel healthy. Resist the urge to pour a glass of wine ;).

Serves 4

Thyme-Scented White Bean Cassoulet

White Bean Cassoulet3

I’m such a sucker for names. If something just sounds amazing, I am automatically sold. I think that’s why I adore Jeni’s ice cream so much and find it totally acceptable to spend $10 on a tiny little pint of the sweet treat. The Milkiest Chocolate in the World? Goat Cheese with Red Cherries? Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows? Yes, yes and yes please.

So this recipe! Thyme-Scented White Bean Cassoulet – I mean it just sounds delicious, no? Who’s job is it to name recipes? How do I become that person?

I really do just love cassoulet, in general. The first time I tasted this beauty of a dish was about a year and a half ago and my taste buds haven’t been the same since. V1 was duck cassoulet with truffled bread crumbs and it was phenomenal. While I can’t be that fancy on a regular old weeknight, with a slow-cooker assist this version comes together pretty effortlessly. And even though in my dream life I eat truffled everything everyday, this version of cassoulet will more than do for now :).

Thick, warming, a little spicy and a whole lot flavorful. Adapted from myrecipes.com for your easy enjoyment.

Thyme-Scented White Bean Cassoulet

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • half a yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and large diced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and large diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 3 links of hot Italian sausage, chopped

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onion, carrot, parsnip and garlic. Cover and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until veg is slightly softened.

Place mixture in a 5-quart slow-cooker. Add beans, broth, thyme, tomatoes and season with s&p to taste. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours until tender.

About thirty minutes before cooking time is up: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm remaining teaspoon of oil. Add sausage and cook for a few minutes on each side until done. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese and butter in a small bowl. Add sausage and breadcrumbs to slow-cooker and stir to combine. Re-cover and cook for a few minutes longer. Sprinkle with more thyme to serve.

Serves 4

xo Beth