Vegan-friendly

French Green Lentil, Brown Rice, Tomato and Feta Salad

January 7, 2013
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It’s that time of year again isn’t it? When we all start wondering why our jeans are just a little too tight, feeling that post-holiday letdown, and seeing the ads for gym memberships, weights and exercise outfits. Everyone is ready to get fit, get lean, and start eating healthy, myself included.

I learned a long time ago to stop buying those gym memberships (I know myself all too well) but I do know how to eat healthy when I want to. For me that includes lots of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. A great start includes adding salads like this to the meal planning. They are tasty and filling and can do double duty as either a Meatless Monday main course, or side dish. For more salads like this check out a few other Simple Sunday Salad recipes.

If you’re not familiar with French green lentils you can read …

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Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Olives, Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Preserved Lemon

August 21, 2012
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It’s been hot here in Southern California. Really hot. Hot, as in the lawn has turned crispy, hot. Hot, as in run the A/C all night long, hot. Hot, as in melt your ipad case in the car, hot. Yep. That last one happened to my husband. He’s lucky the ipad still works.

When the weather is as unrelenting as it has been, I only want to eat cold food, and salads like this one serve double duty. I make one each weekend, usually with some sort of whole grain, rice, or pasta and lots of vegetables mixed in. We eat them first with a piece of  easily grilled protein (chicken or fish grilled outside to keep the house cool). Then I’ll serve the rest of the salad later in the week as a quick veggie lunch or with something like leftover chicken tossed in. These Simple Sunday Salads

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Slow Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup with Smoked Paprika

October 30, 2011
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The height of tomato season in my garden seems to be mid August. It doesn’t matter when I plant, or how I stagger the planting, every August shows the bulk of the tomato crop. This year I did a little better, getting some tomatoes to last into September, including a second crop off my Celebrity plant. Some of you who live in colder climates may not start planting until later (I plant in April and May) and might still have plants still with fruit on the vine, or at least tomatoes picked a little green and ripening inside away from the first frost. Here is a way to use up those not-so-perfect tomatoes and the last of the ripe ones. The soup is also warm and hearty enough to say, “ah, Fall…” and the smoked paprika give it a nice little spicy kick.

I know people will ask,…

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Peko Peko: A Charity Cookbook For Japan

April 18, 2011
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The first time I ate cold soba noodles was while flying on Japan Airlines. The noodles were served in a little black lacquered box with dipping sauce, a step up from the airline standard cup ‘o soup snack. I tucked in and was surprised to find the noodles were cold! These noodles were a revelation; they were so refreshing! I know airplane food is not normally inspiring, nor usually the best example of a nation’s cuisine, but these noodles were shockingly good.

When I got home, I wanted to try making them myself and thought it might be nice to combine the noodles with some tofu and beautiful fresh Maitake mushrooms. Of course, you can replace the tofu with the protein of your choice; fish, chicken, or even roasted pork belly. After I made this dish, almost 7 months ago, I’m not sure why, but I never posted the recipe.

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Wild Mushrooms with Polenta, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

April 4, 2011
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Spring has sprung in Southern California! In one week we’ve gone from rain and chill to sunshine and 90 degrees. It was quite a shock to the system and I suddenly find myself craving lighter food, salads filled with fresh vegetables and meatless meals. This dish fit the bill perfectly, served one night with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc and a small spring salad with a light vinaigrette.

Recently, I was contacted by the nice people at Gourmet Mushrooms who asked if I was interested in trying out some of their organically grown mushrooms. This offer piqued my interest because they had some mushrooms I’ve never tried, nor seen in my local market. A box arrived via FedEx, and surrounded by insulated packaging, was a wicker basket tightly packed with 2 pounds of gorgeous mushrooms.  These mushrooms are certified organic, and while not technically “wild” they are certainly …

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Spinach Salad with Persimmons, Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and a Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

November 22, 2010
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Every year we try to change it up somewhat when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. But there are so many “traditional” dishes that we have to make (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes…) that the options for change really only come within the green-vegetable-side-dish category. This year I thought a salad might be a nice, lighter choice to counterbalance the heavy (but oh-so-good) starches that dominate the traditional sides.

I have a persimmon tree, and this year have a surplus of fruit as those of you with fruit trees know how that happens. I thought that perhaps people would be looking for something to make with those persimmons other than the typical cookies, or even my own Persimmon Cranberry Bread. I’ve set some of my Fuyus aside in the refrigerator to keep them firm until Thanksgiving day because rather than ripe soft fruit, this salad needs to be made with the …

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