Grilled Nectarines & Goat Cheese Crostinis

Grilled Nectarines and Goat Cheese Crostinis

Grilled Nectarines and Goat Cheese Crostinis

I love Goat Cheese.  Really any and all goat cheeses rock my world!  It’s creaminess, it’s the fact that it’s cheese, it’s from a goat (such cuties), it’s easy to use, it’s versatile and it’s healthy.  All around a win-win situation!

I almost called these bruschettas and I actually had to go figure out what’s the difference between a bruschetta and a crostini….don’t laugh at me.  I can’t pretend to know everything, but the internet is a marvelous place filled with an infinite amount of useless info….I mean really who truly cares if it’s a crostini or a bruschetta?  (Don’t send me hate mail…it’s just my view of it!)  The world won’t end because I called something a crostini versus a bruschetta…well I sure as heck hope not!

If you want to know more about the differences between a crostini and a bruschetta you can go here or here

it's a crostini...it's a bruschetta....nope crostini...

it’s a crostini…it’s a bruschetta….nope crostini…

Let’s get to the recipe shall we…..(because after my research it’s quite OK for me to call it a crostini….just sayin’)

Ingredients:

For the Goat Cheese:

1 5-ounce plain goat cheese (container or packet, whatever your grocery carries)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Nectarines:

2 nectarines (firm preferably), quartered and pitted

1 small onion, cut into fairly thick slices

olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh basil, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Grilled bread slices for serving (baguette, country bread, italian rustic bread…what ever floats your boat!)

How to:

For the Goat Cheese:

In a medium bowl combine your goat cheese with your fresh herbs, add a touch of salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Keep in your fridge until ready to serve.

delicious herb goat cheese

delicious herb goat cheese

For the Nectarines:

Heat your grill.  Drizzle a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on your nectarines and onion slices.  Grill your nectarines and onion slices on all sides.  Keep an eye on this so you don’t have burnt pieces…which would result in bitter pieces!  Let cool slightly.  Roughly chop and put in a bowl.  Add your fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  You are done!  Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

lovely grilled nectarine salsa

lovely grilled nectarine salsa

To serve:

I like to keep it simple and put the goat cheese, nectarines and bread on the table and let people help themselves but you could be nice and make it for them…your choice!  Bottom line: piece of grilled bread, a good schmear of goat cheese and a nice dollop of grilled nectarines makes for an amazing bite!

the perfect bite!

the perfect bite!

Note: you can substitute any fresh herbs you like, I would only suggest if you change it for the goat cheese then go ahead and change the same one for the nectarines…just to carry the flavor through.

Another note: you could easily use peaches for this dish.  I am a lover of nectarines so that is usually my go-to.  But I know it would still be super delicious with peaches!

light flavorful and such an easy summer appetizer

light flavorful and such an easy summer appetizer

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Peace and No World Ending Today.

Isabelle

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Grilled Maque Choux and Shrimp

Grilled Maque Choux and Shrimp

Grilled Maque Choux and Shrimp

Maque choux /’ma:kju:/ is a traditional dish of southern Louisinana.  It is thought to be an amalgam of Acadian French (Cajun) and American Indian cultural influence, and the name is likely to derive from the French interpretation of the Native American name.

Thank you Wikipedia

This dish is often a side dish but I’ve had it as a main course and it was a perfectly satisfying dish!  It is not something that you see often here in Indiana…although with the abundance of corn surrounding us it should be part of everyone’s menu!  Got to use that corn in many ways otherwise the peeps might get bored!  😉

I decided to add some more flavors to my version by grilling the ingredients and adding some grilled shrimp to round up this mouth-watering dish!  It was spectacular!  I love this dish, to the moon and back!

this is simply ammmuuuuuuziiiiing!

this is simply ammmmaaaaaaziiiiing!

Ingredients:

5 ears corn

1 green bell pepper (I didn’t have a big bell pepper from my garden so I did one small and one poblano)

1 jalapeno (optional…but oh so delicious!)

2 cups cherry tomatoes (I had a variety of cherry tomatoes)

1 onion, cut into thick slices

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned

Zest and Juice 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Grilled slices of Tuscan bread (for serving, optional)

How to:

First you must cook your corn: 10 minutes or so in boiling water.  Set aside while you get everything ready.

In a large bowl combine your shrimp, zest and juice of lemon, thyme and parsley, salt and pepper (approx. 1 teaspoon each).  Cover and put in your fridge until ready to use.

good little shrimp marinating....good job!

good little shrimp marinating….good job!

Skewer your cherry tomatoes onto metal or soaked wooden skewers.  Put on a large baking sheet.  Lay out your pepper, jalapeno, cooked corn, and sliced onion, drizzle everything with a little bit of olive oil, add a touch of salt and pepper.  Time to start the grill.  Once nice and hot add your vegetables and DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE.  Make sure everything gets beautiful grill marks.  Have a clean baking sheet ready and depending on time and heat, remove the vegetables once ready.  You need to pay attention because most likely the tomatoes will be ready first and start bursting.  Turn each veggie around so they get color all over.  When all done, set aside to cool for a few minutes (too hot to handle!).

grill shot...always a shot in the dark...hahaha I kill myself!  ;)

grill shot…always a shot in the dark…hahaha I kill myself! 😉

yum! yum! all grilled up!

yum! yum! all grilled up!

Meanwhile back at the shrimp!  Skewer your shrimp for the grill.  Set aside.

When your veggies are touch cooler, time to chop everything.  Chop your onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, tomatoes (KEEP ALL THE JUICES), cut corn off the cobs.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large pan.  Add all your vegetables (and juices) and toss everything together.  Let this cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter.  Mix everything well and cook for another 5 minutes, on low.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

almost there....still missing the creaminess factor!

almost there….still missing the creaminess factor!

now...that's what I am talking about! YUMMO!

now…that’s what I am talking about! YUMMO!

Heat up your grill again.  Time to grill your shrimp.  Stay put…these should only take about 5 minutes.  Do not overcook your shrimp or you may as well eat rubber!  😉

shrimp shot!  ;)

shrimp shot!

Put your Maque Choux into your serving bowl, top with shrimp and a nice thick piece of grilled bread.  Dig in!

first bite...it's love...oh wait I forgot something!

first bite…it’s love…oh wait I forgot something!

now I am ready to dig in!

now I am ready to dig in!

Note: this serves 4 as a main course, or 6ish as a side dish or one hungry Isabelle…you pick!  So delicious, so fresh and so unexpected in the middle of summer, a welcome change to corn on the cob!

so simply pretty delicously good (I don't even make sense anymore!)

simply pretty delicously good (I don’t even make sense anymore!)

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Peace and I am never bored,

Isabelle

Roasted Tomatillos Salsa

Roasted Tomatillos Salsa

Roasted Tomatillos Salsa

It took a big leap of faith on my part to not make my usual Salsa Verde .  It’s Matt and I’s absolute favorite salsa.  I use it for so much more than just chips and dip.  I won’t bore you with all the details (go see recipes: here and here and here )….my brain can only handle so much information so let’s just talk about why a new tomatillos salsa?

It’s ROASTED which means it will take flavors to the next level.

I like the hands free everything in the oven idea.

It’s easy to change up the heat lever and add other interesting ingredients, perhaps a couple green tomatoes or red onions.

I don’t want to be in a salsa rut….where ever that is!

I want to be in salsa heaven…where ever that is!

Gorgeous salsa....this is where I want to be!

Gorgeous salsa….this is where I want to be!

Ingredients:

2 lbs tomatillos (about 10-14 depending on size) peeled and rinsed

1 onion roughly chopped

2-3 jalapenos (or less if you don’t like spicy or you could use a combination of peppers, I did: 1 inferno, 1 italico spanish spice and 1 anaheim)

6 garlic cloves peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup cilantro roughly chopped

Juice one lime

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

Put all your tomatillos (peeled and rinsed…kind of important), chopped onion, peppers and garlic in a large bowl, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle your salt and pepper.  Toss everything together well.  Lay everything in your prepared pan.  Put in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Stir everything again at the halfway point….smell the amazing flavor while you are at it!

look at these marvelous ingredients! OH MY!

look at these marvelous ingredients! OH MY!

roasting is simply THE BEST....end of story!

roasting is simply THE BEST….end of story!

After 30 minutes, let cool for about 10 minutes.  Put everything (any juices as well) in your food processor.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup cilantro and lime juice.  Pulse until desired consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

for some reason this picture makes me smile...everything about it is YUM!

for some reason this picture makes me smile…everything about it is: YUM!

there you have it: over 4 cups of deliciously flavorful salsa...HOMEMADE SALSA!

there you have it: over 4 cups of deliciously flavorful salsa…HOMEMADE SALSA!

time to serve up some knock your socks off salsa!

time to serve up some knock your socks off salsa!

Enjoy!

this is where I grow my peppers: around the chicken coop! I have over 5 kinds of peppers... I <3 it!

this is where I grow my peppers: around the chicken coop! I have over 9 kinds of peppers… I ❤ it!

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Peace and Leap of Faith,

Isabelle

You could make this with this delicious salsa:

My Mom's Mexican Dip

My Mom’s Mexican Dip

My Mom’s Mexican Dip

OR this:

Green Enchiladas

Green Enchiladas

Green Enchiladas

 

Summertime Salads

Here’s a little compilation of my favorite summertime salads.

I was talking to the lovely and gorgeous Beth the other day at my cousin McKenna’s open house (yay!  done with high school…on to more schooling!  HA!  Life…).  We talked about the “famous” Wild Rice Salad.  To which my friend Jenny (from Jenny’s Famous Chicken Salad ) said she was very much expecting me to show up with this particular salad for the open house…alas I made Laura’s Mac and Cheese .

Why?  Because I worked all day Thursday, spent Friday at BFF’s Aislinn’s yard sale without Aislinn (because her kids are jinxed and always end up at the emergency room on yard sale day…!) and finally at a Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday from 8am till 4pm for 4 games….so I made a quadruple batch of mac and cheese in 40 minutes (I am not kidding you!) so it could be ready for the open house at 6pm.

And this is why I didn’t show up with the perfectly lovely summer Wild Rice Salad.

And this is why I am sharing with you delicious wonderful ideas for your summertime feeding frenzy!  Also because Beth and Jenny told me to make this little compilation and I aim to please!

Wild Rice Salad

The "famous" Wild Rice Salad. Trust me once you make it you will fall in love!

The “famous” Wild Rice Salad. Trust me once you make and taste it you will fall in love!

Southwest Chicken Salad

Mr. Man's amazing chicken salad....love a man that can cook!

Mr. Man’s amazing chicken salad….love a man that can cook!

Grilled Potato Pesto Salad

a perfect change for the old mayo potato salad! Scrumptious!

a perfect change from the old mayo potato salad! Scrumptious!

Best Caesar Salad EVER!!!!!

I make this waaaaay too much but it is beyond incredible, it's more than perfect!  I think it's magical (yup! magical!)

I make this way too much but it is beyond incredible, it’s more than perfect! I think it’s magical (yup! magical!)

Kale Salad

I have to be honest...I have made this salad about 5 times so far this summer! I adore it!

I have to be honest…I have made this salad about 5 times so far this summer! I adore it!

Angie’s Summer Salad

Healthy, fresh, and so easy to make!

Healthy and Fresh, the addition of crisp apples is perfect!

Chicken Ramen Salad

the infamous potluck Ramen Salad! If it's good why change it, right?

The infamous potluck Ramen Salad! If it’s good why change it, right?

Asparagus and Parmesan Salad

this salad is my old stand-by salad...been making this since the girls were tiny babies!

this salad is my old stand-by salad…been making this since the girls were tiny babies!

Shaved Asparagus Salad

I know 2 asparagus salads...yes...they are equally amazing!  DELISH!

I know…2 asparagus salads…yes…they are equally amazing! DELISH!

Cauliflower Salad

I think the capes might be what makes this so wonderful

I think the capers might be what makes this so wonderful

Nicole’s Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

so in love with this fresh colorful salad

So in love with this fresh colorful salad

Orzo Tuna Salad

Orzo Tuna Salad

Who wants a heavy tuna casserole when you can make this fresh and gorgeous salad! YUM!

Fruit Salad with Orange and Agave Sauce

 

Some days you need something a little fruity!

Some days you need something a little fruity!

Jenny’s Delicious Chicken Salad

I couldn't leave out this mind blowing mouth watering salad!

I couldn’t leave out this mind blowing mouth watering salad!

Hope this gives you a little taste of summer!  Let’s get cooking!

Oh and before I go….

Cheers to you Beth! I know it's one of your favorite!

Cheers to you Beth! I know it’s one of your favorites!

A Lemontini makes everyone happy!

Peace and Let’s Have a Salad,

Isabelle

Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and Toasted Breadcrumbs

It’s the same old story: PASTA.  I love pasta.  There is no other way to say it.  I think I have only heard maybe once or twice in my lifetime someone say they didn’t like pasta.  Honestly my first thought was: “we can’t be friends, who doesn’t like pasta?!!!”.  Sad but true….that’s me making friends through food since 1969!  :/

So here I am making more pasta and trying to incorporate what I love most: roasted vegetables.  It’s my easy out on weeknights when I am hurrying to make dinner: cut all the veggies, put them in a large bowl, drizzle olive oil, a few good grinds of fresh pepper and a generous amount of kosher salt.  In the oven it goes at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (or until all my other dishes come together…if we are being honest here!)  It truly is a no-brainer.  My kids absolutely love roasted vegetables, really any will work or a combination of a few or many…. a great clean your fridge type of dish.

I am sure you could substitute the broccoli but I think the flavor and color just makes a gorgeous anytime dish.  The finishing touch with the toasted breadcrumbs is absolutely fantastic.  I guess you could use store-bought breadcrumbs but you would be cheating yourself….trust me…the extra little step is worth it!  AND you can do it ahead of time!  🙂

This totally rocked my pasta socks!

This totally rocked my pasta socks!

Ingredients:

3 broccoli heads (one package usually has 2-3)

1 onion minced

2 garlic cloves minced

1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or less if you don’t like spicy)

1 cup dry white wine (or chicken/vegetable broth if you prefer)

1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped

1 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs (see below on how to)

1 lb pasta (I like rigatoni for this dish but I think any short “fat” noodles will work)

Parmesan Cheese for serving

How to:

For the toasted breadcrumbs:

In your food processor pulse 2-3 pieces of country bread to make about 1 cup (this is not an exact science but it’s just delicious madness).  In a medium size pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.  Add your fresh breadcrumbs and gently toast while stirring…I suggest you keep an eye on them…they tend to burn rather quickly!  Add 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  When nicely toasted set them aside until ready to use.

fresh breadcrumbs

fresh breadcrumbs

toasted breadcrumbs...oh the logic!

toasted breadcrumbs…oh the logic!

For your roasted broccoli: 

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  Set aside.

Cut your broccoli, including the stem (I cut about 1-2 inches off the bottom but I always use the stem).  It is DELICIOUS!  Taste the same as the florets and loaded with vitamins!  No waste!  Put in a large bowl, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper.  Toss everything well and put in your prepared baking sheet.  Put in your preheated oven for 15 minutes.  When done set aside until ready to use.

gorgeous broccoli!

gorgeous broccoli!

perfect!

perfect!

For the pasta and sauce:

Cook pasta according to package directions, but I would suggest you cook them very “al dente”.  They will continue to cook for a minute or so in the pan.  Keep 1 cup of your cooking water.

In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Add your pepper flake and gently heat while stirring (so nothing burns and gets bitter) for about 1-2 minutes.  Add your onions and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add you garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add your wine and gently simmer until reduced by about half.  Add your broccoli, chopped basil, cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of your pasta water.  Toss everything together well and let this cook for 1-2 minutes more.

this smells so amazing!!!!

this smells so amazing!!!!

now this is what pasta should always look like!

now this is what pasta should always look like!

Time to serve; put your pasta and broccoli in a serving plate (no really….) top with parmesan cheese and a big ol’ amount of toasted breadcrumbs.  Dive it!  So fabulous!  I could eat this everyday!

ready for action!

ready for action!

you know how I feel about the perfect first bite....magnificent!

you know how I feel about the perfect first bite….magnificent!

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Peace and We Have To Be Friends,

Isabelle

 

Nicole’s Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Nicole is one of our Lacrosse parents.  We had a lovely end of the season Award “pitch-in” dinner.  Nicole showed up with this AMAZING salad.  So in good Isabelle fashion I asked for the recipe….not in a subtle quiet way but a direct reply to all email that I was looking for the recipe….unless it was top-secret (but we all know I wasn’t about to back down that quietly).

I got the recipe and her blessing to share it with you my wonderful amazing fantastic readers!  ❤

I am/was a soccer player, therefore Lacrosse is foreign territory to me.  I know NOTHING about Lacrosse.  Mind you, I was a soccer mom before I became a Lacrosse mom.  I may have overstepped my bound being a soccer mom so it’s best I stay a Lacrosse Mom.

Here’s why I need to be a Lacrosse Mom: when Sunshine was playing soccer, she would be the back up goalie.  Once while she was in the goal, I kept telling her (from the side line as a super shark soccer mom…not proud) to do this or do that…etc…she was paying NO attention to me.  NONE.  So finally I said: “Can’t you hear me?”  She screamed (and I mean screamed for everyone to hear): “Yeah MOM I can hear you!  The whole world can hear YOU”.  I kept my trap shut after that and even now at Lacrosse you will find me in the cheering section: “way to go girls!  Keep up the good work girls!  Awesome!  Great! Amazing!  I love this game!! ….”

I have no clue what I am doing!

all I can say it: YUM SO FRESH!

Awesome! Great! Amazing! I love this salad!

But I know a delicious salad when I eat one!  😉

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 9-ounce bag Baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)

1 lb. container strawberries, sliced

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup chopped pecans

Dressing:

1/2 cup sugar (mine was shy of 1/2 cup…trying to lower our sugar intake!)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon each poppy seeds & sesame seeds
How to:
In a medium size mason jar, combine your sugar, oil, red wine vinegar, worcestershire  sauce, poppy seeds and sesame seeds.  Give this a shake like you mean it.  This can be prepared ahead of time, put in your fridge and shaken (like a dirty Martini….) when ready to use!
there is separation in the ranks!

there is separation in the ranks!

see what a little shaking can do!

Shaken….not stirred  😉

In a large serving bowl combine your spinach, strawberries, shredded mozzarella and chopped pecans.  Toss with dressing when ready to serve.
stunning colors!

stunning colors!

action shot....just 'cause I can!

action shot….just ’cause I can!

fresh, healthy, pretty, and flavor galor!

fresh, healthy, pretty, and flavor galore!

Note: add the dressing right before you serve, I don’t think this salad sits very well unattended…it tends to get temperamental and looks sad… 😉
one last look, it's worth it! <3

one last look, it’s worth it! ❤

Peace and Know your Sports,
Isabelle

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

We decided this year to expand our “greens” in our garden to not only kale and swiss chard but also rainbow chard.  It is quite a miracle that I am able to grow anything at all but the fact that my greens did so well last year made me think I could do more….which is usually where I crash and fail…but so far so good.

I GREW THAT!!!!! So pretty!

I GREW THAT!!!!! So pretty!

This is not so much a recipe per say but more of a guideline.  I make this “recipe/formula” pretty much the same way for kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet tops, rainbow chard, spinach…etc…

Got to love a recipe that can adapt to many different main ingredients!

Got to love a recipe that can adapt to many different main ingredients!

Ingredients:

Large bunch of rainbow chard (I had about 15 stems)

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine (substitute with vegetable broth if needed)

1/2 lemon juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

How to:

Separate the stems of the chard from the leaves.  Cut the leaves into bite size pieces and set aside.  Slice the stems into small pieces and set aside.

big ol' bowl of chopped chard

big ol’ bowl of chopped chard

In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add your chopped onion and saute until soft and fragrant.  Add your chopped stems.  Cook on medium heat until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Start adding your chopped leaves, a few big handful at a time, stirring gently after each addition.  It will seem like a mountain of leaves but it will cook down greatly.  Keep adding your leaves until they are all in.

a whole lot of chopped chard

a big mountain of chopped chard

gently stir or you will have chard all over your stove top!

gently stir or you will have chard all over your stove top!

Add your garlic, white wine and lemon juice.  Cook gently until your chard has wilted nicely.  Add your salt and pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon each.  Finally turn heat off and add your apple cider vinegar, toss everything to combine and serve.

all cooked down and ready to go!

all cooked down and ready to go!

smells so amazing! I am ready to dig in!

smells so amazing! I am ready to dig in!

So easy, healthy and fresh!  I love this side with grilled chicken or baked fish, even a nice steak!  Really it goes with everything, and my kids love it!

Enjoy!  <3

Enjoy! ❤

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Peace and Grow,

Isabelle

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

I saw a wonderful Romanesco Summer Salad in Delicious Living Magazine, that I pick up at my local health food store.  Problem is that Romanesco Cauliflower is not readily available at my grocery store.  Honestly I think I might have seen it there once since we moved here 8 years ago!  That certainly doesn’t make it an ingredient I think of when I cook!  I tend to be one who likes easily and abundantly available ingredients…some might call that laziness but I call it “make it work with what you have”!

This is my version of this delicious salad.  It is fresh, easy to make and loaded with vitamins!  It is a great side for grilled chicken, fish, grilled steaks, burgers, etc…. I think the addition of capers makes this salad perfect!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces

Zest and juice 1 lemon

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, thinly chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers, coarsely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat.  Add cauliflower, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 2–3 minutes, until crisp-tender.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet or clean kitchen towel, spreading it in a single layer, to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, and about 1/4 teaspoon each salt & pepper.  Slowly add oil, whisking constantly to emulsify.

simple yet delicious dressing

simple yet delicious dressing

Put cauliflower in a serving bowl.  Add bell pepper, onion, basil, chives, capers, and vinaigrette; toss gently to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  It will keep well for several hours, you may want to toss again prior to serving.

all in!  Ready for the dressing!

all in! Ready for the dressing!

some sort of action shot for you guys ;)

some sort of action shot for you guys 😉

ready to chill for a little bit

ready to chill for a little bit

Note: if you have a steamer you may use it to cook your cauliflower.

oh my goodness this is simply amazingly scrumptious!

oh my goodness this is simply amazingly scrumptious!

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Peace and I like Abundant,

Isabelle

 

 

 

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This was a lunch special I prepared for Matt and I.  I loved it and I felt it was a delicious filling lunch.  Matt thought it was a snack.  Hence the difference between men and women…well….in my house anyway.  Hummus is not considered a full meal for my husband.  Our daughters and I ,on the other hand, could eat it as a completely meal pretty much any day.

This topic is somewhat a touchy subject for me.  Matt keeps getting on me to cut down the “carbs” at meal time…because you know he read somewhere that carbs are killing us….OK….BUT the thing is: if I don’t give him a filling meal he then will devour a whole bag of Doritos and if by chance I was playing healthy that week and decided NOT to buy “crap” then he will act like an angry/hungry wolf and search our home for something (anything) to eat.

So….here I am.  I make this healthy delicious lunch and my husband thinks it a snack.  Welcome to my world.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 whole roasted red pepper (from jar or homemade)

4 tablespoons tahini

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (for serving)

3 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper (for serving, optional)

How to:

In your food processor, or blender or Ninja (in my case) put all your ingredients and press start!  Puree until you have a very smooth texture.  Taste and add your salt and pepper to taste.  Puree for 10-15 seconds more.  Voila!  Put into your serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and top with your chopped roasted red pepper.  Serve with warm pita bread, carrots and celery sticks…or whatever your heart desires 🙂

doesn't that look lovely?

doesn’t that look lovely?

yummmmmmylicious!

yummmmmmylicious!

who needs carbs anyway...!

who needs carbs anyway?…!

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Peace and Carb Up,

Isabelle

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I know….Kale is the new black.  I mean we can’t go anywhere these days without kale being IT.  It’s fabulous, it’s good for you, it’s a super food, it’s healthy, it’s easy to grow…blah, blah, blah….

I don’t want to sound like a broken record here but I have been a super fan of this super food for many years now.  Last year my crop of kale was simply amazing.  We were able to blanch and freeze loads of kale for these winter months.  So why am I making a fresh kale salad?  Because I color outside the lines, I walk to the beat of my own drums, I like to complicate my life as best I can, and on and on!

Fact is: now and then in the middle of winter your body still craves fresh stuff even if your freezer is overflowing with delicious food from your very own garden!

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 onion minced

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

6 cups fresh kale, thinly sliced/chiffonade

1 whole red pepper thinly sliced (or about 6 small red peppers)

4 green onions, thinly sliced

3/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed (optional)

How to:

For the vinaigrette:

In a large bowl combine your onion, vinegar, lemon juice and dijon mustard.  Whisk well.  Slowly add your olive oil and continue whisking until you get a smooth consistency.  Taste, add your salt and pepper to your liking.  Set aside.

this is a great salad dressing for many different salads you might like

this is a great vinaigrette for many different salads you might like

For the salad:

Prep all your salad ingredients.  *You must thinly slice or chiffonade your kale.

you must first remove the "tough" stem of your kale

you must first remove the “tough” stem of your kale

chiffonade (fancy cooking word for thinly sliced!)

chiffonade (fancy cooking term for thinly sliced!)

Add your kale, red pepper, green onion and parsley to your vinaigrette.  Toss everything well and let this sit/marinate for about 10 minutes.  The kale will absorb all the wonderful flavors of your vinaigrette and take some of the bitterness out.  Add your pine nuts and and mozzarella (if using) toss well and serve.

all in!  Time to "debitter"...I am aware that is not a cooking term ;)

all in! Time to “debitter”…I am aware that is not a cooking term 😉

so gorgeous, so delicious and so good for you! YAY Super Food!

so gorgeous, so delicious and so good for you! YAY Super Food!

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Peace and Be Fresh,

Isabelle