Mango Vinaigrette

May 15, 2018

Mango Vinaigrette

This recipe came about from being freshly back from Costa Rica and craving the flavors of my dinners there. Alas, even though we usually are at the end of the season some phenomenal mangoes this time of year at the grocery, all the mangoes had been there just a little too long, so I skipped on buying any and decided instead to play with some frozen mangoes which I generally have on hand to see what flavors I could come up with. Since I still had some amazing butter lettuce, I decided to make a vinaigrette with mango flavor, adding some fresh mint from my backyard. The result was a dressing so good I could have simply drank it, but instead I made a butter lettuce salad one day, then the next a wild rice pilaf with chopped veggies and chicken sausage which I stuffed into butter lettuce wraps and dressed with the vinaigrette. Needless to say, those wraps went quick, as did the rest of the dressing! (more…)

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Mushroom Risotto

March 30, 2018

Mushroom Risotto

Many moons ago my uncle made a mushroom extravaganza for Christmas dinner. There was mushroom soup, mushroom loaf, and a mushroom risotto. At the time, mushrooms were something I couldn’t stand to eat, yet I didn’t want to hurt his feelings since he had made such a wonderful meal. So I ate the soup. I ate some of the loaf. And I ate the risotto. I’m not certain if by the time I got to the risotto I was just so inundated by the mushrooms that I didn’t notice them as much, but I really liked the risotto. I remember somewhat picking at the mushrooms, looking at them in wonderment by this portion of the meal, thinking, “Well, this isn’t too bad!”

Shiitakes ended up being my gateway mushroom. Fast forward many years later, and I enjoy most types of mushrooms (still not a fan of the white button, however). This past week my CSA had quite a few varieties of mushrooms available, so I decided I would try my hand at recreating the risotto that was the first way I ever enjoyed mushrooms. (more…)

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Avocado, Spinach, Gorgonzola Pasta with Walnuts

February 25, 2018

Avocado, Spinach, Gorgonzola Pasta with Walnuts

When you have an avocado tree, at some point you start wondering what else you can do with avocados beyond guacamole and garnishes for Latin American foods, though that’s a GREAT use for avocado. After branching out into smoothies with avocado (it gives them a wonderful creaminess), avocado truffles, avocado egg salad, I thought, “Hmmm, what about avocado and pasta?” I have no earthly idea what prompted this line of thought from me, given that I have an aversion to avocados being too warm (that baked avocado and egg thing that went around a few years back was gross!), but the thought popped into my mind and to the google I went, searching recipes.

I came upon a few recipes that combined avocado and spinach, though many of them used lime juice and seemed a little too close to what I was trying to stray from. So I started down the route of another classic pairing – spinach, blue cheese, and walnuts. How would these flavors play out with each other? (more…)

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Sweetness in a glass: The date shake

April 17, 2015

Date shake

When I stumbled across this recipe on Epicurious last year, I immediately ran out to buy the ingredients to make the date shake. I guess I was craving something sweet and refreshing, because normally reading about what is basically a vanilla milkshake made with almond milk wouldn’t have been something that would have prompted an “I must have it now!” response from me. Whatever the reason, I’m glad it did, because this is now one of my favorite sweet pick-me-ups to have in the middle of the day.

I decided if I were going the route of almond milk, I might as well make this recipe dairy-free, so I picked up a pint of Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island instead of opting for the vanilla gelato called for in the recipe. (more…)

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Cool Contrasts Salad

January 29, 2015

Cool Contrasts Salad

It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of salads that have a warm component to them. Whether it is a warm blackberry vinaigrette or adding freshly made buffalo strips, having something warm with my greens makes a salad feel substantial, like a real meal for me. So when I was raiding my refrigerator the other night for things to pair with my baby spinach, it’s no surprise that my first instinct was to sauté or roast the pears I found. But then, I noticed the cucumber sitting next to it, and I decided to go a different route.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy cucumber is with a Japanese bent – soak the cucumber slices, strips, or cubes with onion in a dressing of rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. (more…)

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