Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries, Apples and Gouda

Here’s the recipe I referenced in my blog post the other day.  I will warn you – gouda is kind of stinky so you might not want to eat it, but it is really delicious in this salad.  I was kind of skeptical at first, but this came together really nicely.  One thing I would recommend that I normally wouldn’t – definitely only use 1 small garlic clove and 1/2 cup shredded gouda.  I typically believe there can never be too much garlic or cheese, but this recipe requires a delicate balance and if you follow the recipe below it will be perfect.

Speaking of things I was skeptical of, if you live near a Trader Joe’s I know just how to make you the hero of our next holiday gathering.  They have these fig and olive crisps and cranberry chevre.  Oh boy is this stuff delicious!  They were sampling it at our store tonight and I almost didn’t try it, but man is it a good thing I did, you’re welcome.IMG_5603.JPG

 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries, Apples and Gouda

Serves: 6+

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. whole brussels sprouts, or 12-14 oz already shaved brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. shallot, finely minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup aged gouda, coarsely shredded
  • 1 apple such as Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts. In a food processor fitted with the slicing attachment, shred the brussels sprouts. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup or dressing shaker, combine the lemon juice, Dijon, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper. Add in the olive oil and whisk/shake until well blended.
  3. Add the dressing to the bowl with the brussels sprouts. Toss well, then let stand at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  4. Add the gouda, apple, cranberries and hazelnuts to the bowl with the brussels sprout mixture. Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve.

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Week 48 – Summer Salad

Time continues to fly by which brings me to you with late posts…again.  Woops!  Also, at first I thought I lost count of the weeks (and that my CPA license should therefore be revoked, because what accountant can’t count?), but even though the post for this coming week will be week 49, yet our anniversary is Sunday, I realized this didn’t start til Mid-July last year.  Phew.  And btw, get excited for the next post, because I get to share with you my anniversary gift for Matt and I’m so stinking excited!! It has been a hard thing to keep secret…just 3 more days!

This weekend was great – we drove up to NY for a friend’s wedding and stopped near Binghamton to hang out at my aunt’s house with some of my dearest cousins and their little ones, and my parents and Amanda came down too!  It was great to spend some time with family.  Then we drove over to Delhi, NY to the house Matt’s friends rented for the weekend.  What did people do before airbnb?  It’s so great that we can go anywhere (hello…Delhi, NY) and rent a house that sleeps 10 people so we can all hang out all weekend.  Anyway, the wedding was adorable and the whole weekend was a lot of fun, a much needed break from my straight days of studying.

I recently purchased Shauna Niequist’s new book – a 365 Day devotional.  Not only is it great because I just love everything she writes, but it has recipes sprinkled throughout!  So we tried one of them this week and, just like her other recipes, it did not disappoint.

Summer Salad:

Servings: 6 (as a side)

Ingredients*:

  • 3 Ears of Corn, cut from the ears, raw
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil (we used parsley…accidentally, but it was still good!)
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

* The original recipe was double of all these amounts, but since we’re only two people we cut it in half

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and adjust the herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.  Let sit for several hours before serving, it gets better the longer it sits.  Keeps for at least 3 days.

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Week 44 – Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Broccoli and White Sauce, Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Avocado Salsa, and Blackberry Chèvre Salad

Weekends are the best.  My taking Fridays off really helps too – get cleaning and errands done Thursday night/ Friday morning and then have the rest of the days for studying, hanging out, and cooking!

We got Fresh Stop this week, Matt picked it up while I was in class and there’s so much goodness in this month’s share.  We used the spring mix in our salad recipe for the week, and we remade the Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta with the asparagus from our share.  That recipe is not only really good, but pretty quick too!

We have a few solid recipes this week – Matt was not the biggest fan of the sweet potato one, but that’s because he doesn’t like cooked broccoli (woops!).  When I was in Portland my friend Kaitlyn made it for dinner one night and I tried to recreate it this week.  I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but I could eat this recipe over and over again!  The Grilled Chicken was delicious and pretty, but I forgot to take a picture of it because we were at a friend’s house and in real life people don’t have to snap a picture of every meal before eating it 🙂  I’ll add a picture next time we make it (because there will definitely be a next time).  And the salad, ahhhhh SO stinking delicious, I can’t wait until tomorrow when we eat the rest of it!

Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Avocado Salsa (recipe from here)

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

For Salsa:

  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Black Pepper

For Chicken:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, pound to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. For the salsa: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Reserve.
  2. For the chicken: Brush the chicken on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165°, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Remove chicken and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Plate the chicken and top with desired amount of salsa.

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Blackberry Chèvre Salad  (recipe from here)

Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 6 oz. fresh blackberries, rinsed
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp. honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the spiced nuts:

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (if you have it, we didn’t so we skipped it)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

To assemble:

  • Mixed salad greens
  • 2 oz. honey goat cheese
  • About 6 oz. fresh blackberries
  • Thinly sliced vidalia onion

Directions:

  1. To make the dressing, place the berries in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing out as much fruit puree as possible while removing the seeds.  In a liquid measuring cup or jar, combine the blackberry puree with the vinegar, honey, and olive oil.  Whisk vigorously until the mixture is well blended and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Chill until ready to use.
  2. To make the spiced nuts, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste.  Allow the mixture to heat for about 1 minute, then stir in the chopped nuts.  Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. To serve, plate portions of salad greens on salad plates. Top with crumbled goat cheese, fresh blackberries, vidalia onion and the spiced nuts as desired.  Drizzle lightly with the blackberry vinaigrette.  Serve immediately.

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Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Broccoli and White Sauce

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 ½ cups Mexican cheese blend (seasoned)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

  1. Roast the sweet potatoes – Heat oven to 400° F. Pierce each sweet potato several times with the tines of a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Make a slit in the top of each sweet potato.
  2. Cook the Broccoli – saute in a pan with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. About 5 minutes, until bright green and slightly cooked.
  3. Make the sauce – In a food processor, mix the cheese, white beans, and enough water to get the sauce to your desired consistency.
  4. Plate the dish – Slice a sweet potato in half and slightly smash before topping with broccoli and sauce. Enjoy!

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Week 42 – Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta and Strawberry, Spinach & Cashew Salad

Ahhh such a perfect weekend!  Great weather, great company, and such a beautiful and refreshing time in our beautiful city!  I’m back to my between busy seasons trend of not working on Fridays so Friday I took the day to clean, go to a barre class, run some errands, and study a bit.  My parents drove down for the weekend and got here in the afternoon.  We went to Pasta Mia for dinner on Friday night, one of my absolute FAVORITES in DC.  If you go to DC and want Italian, look this place up.  Saturday was my mom’s birthday and we had a full day!  We went to Great Falls Park in the morning and hike through some of the trails.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  And it’s really just beautiful up there, we bought an annual pass to the park so we’ll definitely be going back several more times to get our money’s worth.  After the ark we took a break for lunch and then headed to Alexandria for the afternoon.  We picked up some Sugar Shack donuts and then headed into Old Town Alexandria for some window shopping and walking around.  For dinner we went to the Old Ebbitt and then walked around the monuments a bit, a very full, wonderful and tiring day!

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My parents headed back to NY Sunday morning and Matt and I headed to church.  I was with the preschoolers teaching Sunday School, always a fun time!  After church some friends came over and we had lunch on the balcony and then walked over to the tulips by the Netherlands Carillon in a nearby park, right by the Marine Corps Memorial.  A perfect day for a walk to the park, I can’t get enough of this weather!  Matt and I joined a wine club at a nearby wine store so we went to pick up our May bottles after our friends went home.  I’m excited to try different wines with this club, 2 specially picked bottles per month.

We made both of our new recipes tonight and boy are these keepers!  I modified the salad from the original recipe and really only followed the proportions when making the dressing, everything else I kind of just chopped up and threw in.  This was some good stuff.  Matt made the orzo while I studied, said it was really easy and that he added more parm than the recipe says so it’d be better (and it was quite perfect) Sat on the balcony and ate these with a glass of one of the wine club picks, such a nice evening to end a great weekend.  Life is great these days.

Strawberry, Spinach & Cashew Salad (Recipe from here)

Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper

Salad:

  • One package (10 oz) fresh spinach, chopped (about 10 cups of torn leaves)
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries (cleaned and hulled)
  • 1 cup peaches, finely chopped (we used mangoes since peaches aren’t quite in season yet)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cashews

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, and whisk together well. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve the dressing immediately or you can cover it and chill for an hour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients, except the cashew nuts. Add the dressing to the salad and toss. Sprinkle cashew nuts on top of the salad.

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Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta (Recipe from here)

Makes: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1-pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼-cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Shredded parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Prepare orzo according to the directions on the package.
  2. Add the asparagus tips to the orzo the last 2-minutes of cooking.
  3. Remove from heat and drain.
  4. In the meantime prepare the garlic-butter sauce:
    1. Add butter to a skillet and melt over medium heat.
    2. Stir in garlic and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring very frequently. Do not burn the garlic.
  5. Add orzo and asparagus to the skillet; stir in the cheese, milk, parsley, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for 1 minute, or until heated through.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.

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Week 33 – Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad, Creamy Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes , and Flourless Fudge Cookies

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I am so ready for Spring!  And it’s not because of the cold or the snow.  I grew up in Syracuse New York and lived in Chicago for the first 6 years of my adult life, I can do snow and cold.  It’s the fact that the DC area cannot handle snow.  At all.  I am so sick of having a 10 minute walk take 15 minutes because I have to go so slow because nobody understands the importance of putting salt on the darn sidewalks!  Again,  I lived in Chicago, I know it is possible for me to not feel like I’m going to wipe out with every step I take on the way to the train.  And then it snowed a whole 6 inches during the day on Thursday, was done by dinner, and somehow people still had nightmare commutes on Friday morning? I don’t get it.  I hope today’s 50 degree weather sticks around because the DC area NEEDS Spring.  For the safety of walkers everywhere.

We tried a few new recipes this week, and dang all of them were so so good!  We made the cookies because our small group had a dessert night this Wednesday and on Tuesday night we realized we needed to make something for it and this was the only recipe on my pinterest dessert board that we had all of the ingredients for.  These cookies are delicious, but SO rich.  And who knew that gluten free just means a buttload of powdered sugar?!  Not us… The salad and pasta were Saturday night’s dinner.  Pure deliciousness.  Matt looked in the bowl of the salad when I was making it and goes “that looks like a nightmare!”  But he tried it and then had some of the leftovers today, and I think this is another instance where he didn’t think he liked brussels sprouts, quinoa, or some other weirder healthier food, but he just needed to have it prepared deliciously (see the blue apron side salad here, the roasted chicken with veggies here, and the breakfast quinoa here).  The pasta was sooooo good and the cream sauce being made with almond milk instead of cream is healthy genius!  We didn’t even notice, and trust me, we’re the type of people who would notice.  In summary, all three of these recipes will definitely be made again and are highly recommended!

Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad (recipe from here)

Makes: 4-8 servings, depending on size

Ingredients:

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, rinsed and ends trimmed, then halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • orange vinaigrette (see below)

Orange Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix the dressing ingredients in a container until combined.
  2. Toss the dressing and all salad ingredients together until combined.

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Creamy Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (recipe from here)

Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

Pasta Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (6-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped or julienned fresh basil, loosely-packed
  • creamy garlic sauce (ingredients below)
  • optional toppings: crushed red pepper flakes, extra Parmesan, toasted pine nuts

Creamy Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Almond Breeze original unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in a large stockpot of (generously) salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta water is heating, begin making your cream sauce – Heat olive oil (or butter) in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the flour, and saute for an additional minute, stirring occasionally.
  4. Slowly add in the almond milk, whisking to combine until smooth. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens.
  5. Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese is melted.
  6. Reduce heat to low until pasta reaches al dente and you are ready to toss the sauce with the pasta.
  7. Once the sauce and pasta are cooked, toss them together with the chopped chicken breasts, sun-dried tomatoes and half of the fresh basil until evenly combined. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining fresh basil and optional toppings (if desired).

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Flourless Fudge Cookies (recipe from here)

Makes: 20-30 cookies, depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but good
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process preferred*
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Or line with parchment, and grease the parchment.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir in the egg whites and vanilla. Or, to save time, simply stir together all of the ingredients until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir again until smooth.
  3. Drop the soft, batter-like dough onto the prepared baking sheets in 3″ circles (for large cookies), or 2″ circles (for smaller cookies).
  4. Bake the cookies for 6 minutes (for smaller cookies), 8 minutes for the larger cookies. They should spread slightly, become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool right on the pan. When they’re nearly cool, carefully loosen them from the pan with a spatula.

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