RANT: Grill Up Goodness


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Tis the season for back yard BarBQs. Coincidentally, its also bathing suit season.  So take it easy on the dogs and burgers and maybe throw something green on the grill?!  Or roast up some veggies in the oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper to nosh on instead of chips or donuts!  Portobellos, zucchini, squash, and asparagus are some of my faves.  What are yours?

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RECIPE: Kale, pistachio and Avocado Salad

Have you recovered? After tasting last week’s unbelievably delicious salad dressing?  In case you’ve run out of delicious things to drizzle it on, I’ve got the perfect salad for ya!.

 

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In a med-large bowl combine:

1 head kale chopped, stems off (1 bag, 4-5 cups, more or less, doesn’t have to be exact)
3 celery sticks chopped
1/3 red onion chopped
1/3 cup pistachios chopped (actually I prefer them pulverized in to a chunky powder, which you can do with a rolling pin or hammer if you buy them shucked right in the bag)

 

Reminder recipe for the blow-your-mind-good dressing:

1 avocado
1 lemon, juice from
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (about 3/4 tsp, 1/4 tsp, respectively)

 

RECIPE: Magic Avocado Dressing

Are you tired of your salad dressing? Or of  lackluster salads?

Well, buckle-up your tastebuds for this  delicious recipe.  I’ve provided a spicier variation, for those of us who like to turn up the heat.  A kale and avocado salad recipe will follow this post, but you go on and drizzle this magically delicious concoction on whatever you choose (fish, chicken, salad, or heck, eat it by the spoonful!)

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Blend, whisk or mash the following ingredients together

1 avocado (peeled, pitted and chopped)
1 lemon (actually just the juice from 1 lemon, no seeds!)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (more or less depending on how viscous you like your dressing)
salt and pepper to taste ( around 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp)

You now have a creamy, delectable dressing ready to serve, but….if you lika-da-spice-a:

add 1/2 cup greek yogurt and 2 Tbsp hot sauce (tabasco, siracha, texas pete)

 

Stay tuned for an obnoxiously good kale salad recipe that this dressing is even more magically delicious with!

 

RECIPE: Beet and Arugula Salad

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Whilst on my Wellness Retreat in Varenna, Italy, I confess, panne, pizza and gelato were regulars in my diet. However, I did have several insalata mistas, which typically consisted of raddichio, grated carrots and green lettuce.  Simple and nutritious, but over time, my palate longed for something with a little more zip!

Thankfully, across the street from our apartment was a small grocery store which carried fresh produce*.  I noticed there were several jarred and vacuum sealed vegetables in marinade.  I would’ve skipped over these in the states but figured I’m in another country and exploring their cuisine is part of the experience right? So, I purchased a “bag” of beets and a jar of marinated funghi (mushrooms, which’ll make an appearance in another blog post)

Beets can be found packaged this way at Trader Joe’s and I’m sure many other grocery stores in the USofA or in jars and cans, as well.  Probably some farmers markets providing them, our your grandma may have some she canned 19 years ago in her basement somewhere.  Doesn’t matter to me how you get you beets, just know that they are oh so good for you! (lower blood pressure, have antioxidants, lots of fiber and vitamins, are anti-cancer to name a few)

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2 Tbsp Olive oil

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

3 large Beets from, can, jar or vacuum sealed bag, chopped with ~ 1/4 cup of their juice

1 Tbsp sunflower seeds

3 cups arugula

1 orange sliced

5 dashes of salt and pepper

 

 

(* this store also carried a variety of cheeses from a local creamery.  I spent a significant portion of our food budget on the ridiculously good cheeses)