Food

A Late Summer Egg and Potato Salad

August 3, 2017

   Egg and Potato Salad Recipe

Egg and Potato Salad Recipe 2

The title of this post could be “It’s just too dang hot” or “Eating without Cooking: A Summer Campaign”

It’s HOT now. That’s 85-90 temperature range where we were hovering last month? Psh. For amateurs. Our heat index is hovering near 110 every day. It’s above 90 by 10:30 a.m. IT’S HOT, FOLKS.

Did I mention that our AC completely died at 10:00 a.m. a few weeks ago, on one of the hottest days yet, as Mark lay trapped on the couch with a broken ankle waiting for surgery and I stared at two toddlers, innocently waiting for me to serve their every need and entertain their every whim.

Now I know EXACTLY how the pioneers felt. All we needed was a bear scratching at the window to complete the picture.

Egg and Potato Salad Recipe 3

My point is, I feel like turning on the oven, at this point, is simply tempting fate. It’s just too hot. I don’t want to add extra heat, or touch anything hot, or eat anything hot (grill excepted). Also, did I mention that Mark has a broken ankle? He’s recovering from surgery nicely, but he’s supposed to keep all weight off of his foot which means that dinner time finds me – solo. Very solo. Not the eating part, just the cooking and cleaning part, which can be tricky.

SO. Bring on all of the Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds with pretty food that looks like it doesn’t require cooking and makes me feel cool and is easy to clean up. Bonus points for leftovers.

The Kinfolk cookbook and the July editions of Bon Appetit and Real Simple have been great resources for low-fuss, low-indoor-heat recipes over the past couple of weeks.

Also? BRING ON ALL OF THE SALADS. We are basically subsisting on protein-packed salads at this point. This one was a total winner. Healthy? Check. Easy? Check. Possible to re-create for leftovers without too much hassle? Check. Instagrammable? Check Check. Miles and Violet even ate bits of it (although hard-boiled eggs are not their favorites, but adding pesto has helped encourage them over this hump in the past. As has making something completely different, like a hot dog. #lazymomdontcare)

Here’s the only salad you may ever need again during these dog-day months. Dinner will be extra simple if this is eaten outside. 

  Egg and Potato Salad Recipe 1

Egg and Potato Salad Recipe 4

Ingredients

3 hard-boiled eggs

2 cups leafy greens (kale, at least by itself, is going to be too hefty. Mix in some spinach, arugula, butter lettuce – you get the picture).

1/2 lb little pretty potatoes (steakhouse will work)

Generous handful of cilantro

2 tbl chopped dill (ish)

3 stalks of chives

This dressing

Pepper

Coarsely ground sea salt

Assembly

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes (depending on their size – mine were steakhouse and 20 worked well). Let the potatoes cool. (This is a good time to peel your hard-boiled eggs). Wash all of the produce and pat dry. Distribute the leafy greens between two plates. Slice the potatoes thinly in half, quarters, rounds, thirds – whatever makes sense visually for the size and shape of your potatoes and distribute over the greens. The point is to spread out the “potato-y-ness” and expose the texture inside.

Slice the peeled hard-boiled eggs and arrange over the potatoes.. Toss chives, cilantro, and dill generously over the plate. Add a small sprinkle of coarse sea salt (one or two quick twists of the grinder should do the trick) and a bit of pepper. 

The salads can chill like this for a bit if you’re not ready to eat. When you’re ready to eat, add the dressing – don’t be stingy. Enjoy!

 

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Food

Grain Bowl: The Summer Grilling Version.

June 29, 2015

Summer Grain Bowl Title

   Summer Grain Bowl 1

Summer Grain Bowl 2

One of my favorite rituals, and one that I want to make sure I teach Miles to treasure, is that of eating together.

What better way to spend time with your toddler or small child, to instill healthy habits, and to introduce them to new delicious “real” food than to eat alongside them?

Now that we are starting to introduce Miles to more adult food, one of my favorite things to do with him during the day is to make something that we both like, sit down on the floor with him, and share.

Miles is a little obsessed with avocados and with pesto, so this is a pretty easy game to play. I make toast with avocado, sea salt, and lime juice or slice up some bread to dip in pesto and voila! Miles gets to experience new foods that he loves, I get to eat, and we spend quality time together.

This alternative to me frantically trying to find something to eat while he’s entertaining himself for 30 seconds has made our late mornings/early afternoon routines much richer and far less frantic and it gives me an excuse to introduce Miles to foods that I otherwise forget about.

A few mornings ago, I pulled out the leftovers from our grain bowl/grilled vegetable dinner the night before. (I’m a little obsessed with the grain bowl concept featured several times in my favorite magazine, Bon Appetit. If the idea of cooking bores you, try a subscription. I promise you won’t be disappointed and your life will change forever. Or something.)

I sat down by Miles and started to eat lunch with him while we played. He was SO excited to taste the savory quinoa and grilled butternut squash and I was thrilled to find yet another delicious nutritious adult dish that he would eat.

Whether you’re looking for a healthful summer dish for yourself or trying to find creative ways to introduce your baby to new, wonderful foods, this twist on the grain bowl will definitely be a summer favorite!

Summer Grain Bowl 3

Ingredients: 

1 cup quinoa

1 butternut squash

1 yellow squash

1 onion

A generous assortment of other fresh vegetables. We used 1/2 purple cabbage, a couple of bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower.

1/4 cup butter

2 garlic cloves

2 bouillon cubes

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup white wine

1 tsp. lemon juice

Pepper

Olive oil

Chop the vegetables into large pieces, at least 1 x 2 inches. Toss everything in a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few dashes of pepper. Place in a foil baking pan and set aside.

Summer Grain Bowl | The Orange Slate

Prepare the quinoa as follows:

Saute the quinoa in 1/2 a cube of butter and 2 garlic cloves. Dissolve two bouillon cubes in 1 1/2 cups of water and add. Add 1/2 cup of wine. Add fresh herbs, 1 tsp. of pepper, and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Cover and cook on medium heat until the liquid is dissolved.

Grill the vegetables in the foil pan until the squash is soft and the vegetables are well-seared. Combine with the quinoa on a plate. I like to drizzle some creamy balsamic dressing over the whole dish.

*This post contains some affiliate links. Thanks for supporting The Orange Slate!

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Bon Appetit’s Dream Grain Bowl: My Take

February 25, 2015

Bon Appetit's Dream Grain Bowl

Bon Appetit's Grain Bowl 1

As part of my word of the year, CREATE, I am intentionally working to create memories with my family this year. I have so many memories of wonderful food from my childhood and I want to make sure and give that same gift to Miles. This winter, I am making a concerted effort to try new recipes and to expand our table and tastes a bit.

My mom gave me a subscription to Bon Appetit Magazine and the afternoon when I check the mailbox and see the magazine peeking out of our mailbox at me is one of the most exciting of each month.

When I saw this recipe, I immediately knew I had to try it. It was the perfect combination of open-ended options (pick a grain! pick a green!) and precise directions (“do not toss”) on which I thrive. Also, it didn’t hurt that it was both incredibly delicious and satisfying and the most healthful meal we’d eaten that week. I have no idea if it’s Whole30 or pale or whatever, but it seems like quinoa + sweet potatoes + kale can’t help but be pretty good for you, right?

Here’s how I modified the recipe:

The recipe walked me through picking a base, greens, “crunch”, “upgrades”, a roast, and the dressing. I used my mixed quinoa (from Sam’s! Don’t judge!) for the base and kale for the greens. I sautéed almonds in some butter until they just barely started to turn a toasty brown – the crunch. I tossed sweet potatoes in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, pepper, and hefty sea salt and then roasted them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (until they were well-done).

I just tossed some parmesan on the salad in place of the Halloumi cheese.

The recipe called for this dressing, but I didn’t have either turmeric or tahini on hand. (What is turmeric??) No worries. This is why Google was invented. I used peanut butter instead of tahini and just skipped the turmeric (lame, I know – patient precision is not my strongest virtue).

Folks, it took a few minutes more in terms of hands-on time than our average weeknight dinner. But it was so worth it. This grain bowl permanently changed my salad game.

Try it! And let me know what you modify (or maybe you actually follow directions?).

*This post contains some affiliate links. Thanks for supporting The Orange Slate!

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Tarragon Chicken Salad (With a Cayenne Kick) – And Four Tasty Variations

January 21, 2014

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Somehow I made it to my mid-20’s without ever assembling a chicken salad. But our (now regular) Sunday lunches, an increasingly busy schedule that has forced me to think ahead about our meals, and my growing boredom with my go-to chicken recipes sent me on a quest to find a delicious and easy chicken salad recipe.

Much as I love cozy winter cooking, I’m also ready for something fresh, crunchy, and light – something to remind me that spring may actually come someday.

When I was little, Mom would make a yummy tarragon-chicken salad for luncheons and baby showers, so I knew that tarragon needed to be a key ingredient in my recipe. Last week, when I set out on my quest to find a good recipe, I quickly realized that a lot of chicken salads (Martha Stewart, Pioneer Woman, Simply Recipes) were all quite similar, with only slight variations. Apparently chicken salad is not an exact science. So enjoy this recipe, but be brave. Play around with it and make it your own!

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Tarragon Chicken Salad (with a Cayenne Kick)

2 lbs chicken breasts

2 onions

3 tbl. pepper

1 tbl. salt

1/2 cup fresh tarragon, loosely packed or 1/4 cup dried tarragon flakes

6 stalks of celery

3/4 cup of sliced or chopped almonds

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 sour cream

1 tbl. lemon juice

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the onions. then layer them on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking pan. Blend the pepper and salt together into a small bowl. Butterfly and or cut the chicken pieces to ensure that the pieces are similar and bake evenly. Pat the chicken breasts dry and rub the pepper/salt mixture into each breast until the breasts are covered generously. Place the chicken breasts on top of the onion layer. Spread the tarragon evenly on top of the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is slightly over-done.

While the chicken bakes, chop the celery into fine small pieces. In a large measuring glass, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.  In a bowl, blend the celery, almonds, and cherries into the creamy mixture until the ingredients are well-mixed. 

When the chicken is done, allow it to cool completely. Chop all of the ingredients of the pan (onions and chicken) into fine pieces (about 1/4 inch square). Blend the chopped chicken and onions into the creamy mixture in the bowl. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving. 

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4 Tasty Variations to Try

#1 – Replace the cherries with tart, crisp chopped apples. I did this on the second try and can attest that the apples were equally delicious.

#2 – Replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt for a healthier option.

#3 – Instead of almonds, use chopped pecans or walnuts.

#4 – Replace the tarragon with rosemary for a deeper flavor.

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Use Kale Instead: 10 Recipes to Try

October 8, 2013

10 kale recipes to try

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I’ve mentioned before that Mark and I are sorta-kinda-maybe Costco fanatics. The only downside to Costco is that you have to buy everything in Very. Large. Quantities. This is a super efficient way to grocery shop and a huge help to the grocery budget, but it also forces one to buy less variety. For instance,  I don’t buy 4 kinds of greens every week. I buy the giant bag of baby kale and then spend the week putting kale in every single dish.

This has forced me to experiment a bit with recipes that I frequently use. Now I use kale in almost every dish I make instead of whatever-the-standard-green is. There is really no downside to this. Kale is pretty good for you, they say and the baby kale that Costco sells is a lot easier to manage than those gigantic green leaves they sell at Giant.

So here’s a quick list of recipes that don’t normally call for kale:

1. Omelets. 

Simply chop one cup of kale very finely then saute the kale for a few minutes and let the leaves wilt. Then toss the kale into the eggs whenever you add the tomatoes and the other good stuff.

2. Tacos.

Chop the kale into very fine small pieces. The taste of fresh kale gives the tacos a nice punch.

3. Artichoke Dip.

Yes. Yes you can. One more reason to eat Spinach-I-Mean-Kale-Artichoke-Dip (as if you needed one). Now it’s HEALTHIER.

4. Any Salad.

This recipe is from Sprouted Kitchen but there are literally hundreds of ways to make a delicious kale salad.

5. Pasta Salad.

Chop the kale into fine pieces and add to the other delicious crunch.

IMG_4586

6. A Wrap Sandwich.

7. Kale Chips – by Kath Eats Real Food.

8. A Smoothie.

9. A pot of Corn Chowder.

Simply replace the spinach with kale and carry on.

10. Pizza – from TheKitchn.com.

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As an added bonus, check out:

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Everyday Balsamic and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

September 16, 2013

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Mark and I eat a lot of salads. Chicken salads, pasta salads, kale salads, salads with nuts . . . the list goes on and on. Yes, I try to eat a lot of vegetables just because it’s good for you but I also am continually amazed at the multitude of lovely dishes that can be created from fresh vegetables! Salads can really be as diverse as the world’s array of produce.

We get a crop share each week and so I frequently have some new unusual vegetable to try out. Although I like to try making new dressings and vinaigrettes also, I (probably too often) fall back onto my trusty Balsamic-and-Dijon-Mustard vinaigrette. It adds the perfect touch of tangy freshness to any salad. I even use it on pasta salads. It also takes about 3.5 minutes to make, which is a nice perk when you are trying to prepare a healthy fresh meal on a busy weekday.

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Balsamaic and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbl. balsamic vinegar

l tbl. Dijon Mustard

1/4 tsp of sugar

Combine ingredients in a working glass or small measuring cup and whisk briskly. Refrigerate until use. Add to a green salad immediately before serving. Add to a pasta salad 30 minutes before serving and allow ingredients to marinate. This recipe provides a light dressing for a salad for 4 people. If more is needed, simply double it. This vinaigrette can be prepared several days ahead of time. Simply re-whisk before use.

 

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