Peach Caprese Salad

Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 (4-ounce) balls fresh, water-packed mozzarella
4 ripe peaches, unpeeled, each cut into 8 wedges
½ cup fresh basil leaves

To prepare dressing, combine lime juice, zest, vinegar, water, honey, and salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil and set aside.
Cut cheese into 1-inch pieces and gently toss with peaches and basil leaves.

Whisk mint into dressing and toss about 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) with salad. Season with freshly cracked pepper and serve.


Greek Couscous Salad

1 bag or box pearled couscous
diced cherry tomatoes
diced kalamata olives
diced English cucumber
thinly sliced spinach
diced red bell pepper
diced red onion
feta crumbled
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove minced
salt and pepper

Cook Couscous according to box.

Chop all veggies and place in large mixing bowl. Add cooled couscous to veggies. Mix together olive oil and next 4 ingredients. Pour over couscous mixture. Add feta and toss all together. Best served room temperature.

Feel free to double dressing if you think you salad needs more.

Autumn Panzanella Salad

serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a starter/side dish

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 apples, chopped (I left the skin on)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 cups fresh arugula
4-5 thick slices multigrain bread, cut into chunks
1/3 cup pomegranate arils (or the arils from one pomegranate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and garlic powder in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, mix sweet potato and squash chunks, then drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top and mix to coat with your hands. Add about 3/4 of the spice mixture, and mix again to coat. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once.

After 20 minutes, toss apple chunks with remaining spice mixture. Add apple to the baking sheet and bake for another 25 minutes, tossing once or twice.

Let squash, potatoes and apple cool, then add bread chunks to the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if desired.

In a large bowl, combine arugula with roasted fruit, veg and bread cubes. Toss with about 1/4 cup of dressing (or more/less) then sprinkle with pom arils. Serve immediately.

Spiced Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
pinches of: salt, pepper & nutmeg

Combine mustard, honey, pom juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk. Stream in olive oil while constantly whisking until dressing emulsifies. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

from How Sweet It Is

Warm Autumn Salad

1 small butternut squash, chopped
2 apples, chopped (I used gala)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used pumpkin seed oil)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
chopped parsley for garnish
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lay chopped squash, apples, brussels sprouts and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and add cardamom, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Roast for 45-50 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.

Remove vegetables and let cool for 5 minutes. You want them to be warm, but not piping hot. Add veggies to a bowl and combine with feta and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

from How Sweet It Is blog

Skinny Spanakopita

10 oz fresh (or frozen) spinach
5 scallions (white end of green onion), minced
2 green onion stalks, chopped
1 c part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 c fat-free feta cheese crumbles
1 egg, beaten
1/4 t salt
1/2 T lemon juice
10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large frying pan, add half of the fresh spinach and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Push spinach to one side of the pan and add remaining spinach. Stir occasionally for an additional 5 minutes.

Spray a 9 1/2 inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, feta, dill, egg, scallions, green onions, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Add spinach and stir again.

When working with phyllo pastry, keep the sheets that aren’t being used in a damp paper towel. This will prevent the pastry from drying out and crumbling. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo in prepared pie pan and allow it to extend over the rim. Lightly coat with spray.

Repeat with 4 more sheets of phyllo, placing corners at different angles and lightly coating each sheet with spray.

Press down on the dough to form the shape of the pan. Start in the center and work your way out. Next, fold the edges in to form a 1 1/2 inch-high rim.

Spread spinach mixture over the dough.

Lightly coat 1 of the remaining sheets with spray, crumple loosely and cover one section of the spinach mixture.

Repeat with remaining sheets.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

2 teaspoons good olive oil
2 cups large-diced yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups large-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
1 cup French green lentils (7 ounces)
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T red wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Meanwhile, place the canned plum tomatoes, including the juice, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse several times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Rinse and pick over the lentils to make sure there are no stones in the package.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, chicken stock, curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid is still simmering. Remove from the heat and allow the lentils to sit covered for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, season to taste, and serve hot.

(from the Barefoot Contessa)

Roasted Asparagus

1 bushel of asparagus
2 T olive oil
½ c parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Wash and remove the lower half of the asparagus stalks. Allow them to dry for 5 minutes on a kitchen towel.

Line the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir the asparagus to coat. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the asparagus and sprinkle with cheese. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Greek Quinoa

1 ½ c quinoa
2 c water
salt and pepper
1 c cucumber, quartered
½ cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ c red onion, chopped
¼ c kalamata olives, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
3 T olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ c feta cheese

In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, 16-18 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, remove and fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl combine cucumber, tomatoes, olives, red onion, green onion.

Dressing: whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper

Combine quinoa with the vegetables and drizzle the dressing over the mixture, a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(courtesy of With Style & Grace)

Brown Rice with Wheatberries

2 T unsalted butter
2 T good olive oil
1 ½ c chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 c brown rice, such as Texmati
½ c hard red winter wheatberries
1 c thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
¼ c toasted pine nuts
3 ½ c chicken stock
salt and pepper
½ c dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 275.

Heat the butter and oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat for 8 minutes, until translucent but not brown. Add the rice and wheatberries and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

Stir in the scallions, pine nuts, chicken stock, 2 t salt, and 1 t pepper and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and bake for 50 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, cover again, and set aside for 15-20 minutes, until the grains are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Depending on the saltiness of the stock, add 1 t of salt and ½ t pepper to taste. Sprinkle with sliced scallions, and serve hot.

(courtesy of Barefoot Contessa)

Spinach with Feta and Pine Nuts

2 ½ T olive oil
1/12 c chopped yellow onion
1 lemon
1 lb fresh spinach, washed and dried
Salt and pepper
1 ½ T toasted pine nuts
½ c diced feta

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the onion is tender but not browned. Meanwhile, zest the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the lemon, and add 1 ½ T of lemon juice to the plan. Add the spinach in big handfuls, tossing constantly with tongs for a minute or until all the leaves are wilted. Toss with 1 ½ t salt and ½ t pepper and remove from the heat.

Add 1 t of the lemon zest, the pine nuts, and feta, and toss gently. Season to taste and serve hot.

(from Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof)