Kohlrabi-Mango and Radish Salad

24 06 2014

Thanks to our CSA share from Fresh Fork Market, this was my first time using kohlrabi. After doing a little research on how to prep it, I knew I wanted to make a salad or slaw with it. This salad is easy, so tasty and crunchy, not to mention pretty! After all, we do eat with our eyes first and I couldn’t wait to dig in!

Kohlrabi-Mango and Radish Salad

The following makes a salad for 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/2 kohlrabi, outer layer cut away and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 large mango, diced
  • 4 radishes, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup matchstick carrots
  • 2-3 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 poblano pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
  • Couple green onions, diced
  • Rice vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Remove the branches and cut the kohlrabi bulb in half. Carefully using a large, sharp knife cut the outer layer away. Slice into matchstick size pieces.

Add to a medium bowl with mango, radishes, carrots, red onion, peppers and green onions. Toss with rice vinegar, olive oil and salt to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve with a protein of your choice. Pictured above is baked cod.

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Polenta Squares With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

15 06 2014

This is a unique, and tasty appetizer that I’m sure you won’t see at many parties! It’s perfect for summer picnics or potlucks because you serve it room temperature. You could also serve these polenta squares as a side dish, making this versatile too.

Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

The following makes 12-16 squares (adapted from The Party Girl Cookbook):

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 6 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (Don’t waste the oil, save it to use in something else!)
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pot over high heat. Add salt. Slowly add the cornmeal and whisk constantly. When the mixture boils (which will happen quickly and be careful, the mixture will be hot), reduce the heat to low and continue stirring (with a wooden spoon) until very thick, about 30 minutes.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and basil and stir well. Pour the polenta into a square 2.5 quart casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray, making sure to spread evenly. Chill in the fridge until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares. You can get more squares if you go for smaller, bite-size pieces.

You can make this a day or two ahead of time and store covered in the fridge. Just bring to room temperature before serving.





Peanut-Soy Lo Mein and Bok Choy

12 06 2014

This recipe is based on our Fresh Fork Market grab bag this week of CSA (community-supported agriculture). Among other goodies, we received beautiful bok choy and some funky green-onion looking things called garlic scapes. Essentially the scapes are part of the tops of garlic bulbs, and can be used just like garlic. They are available in early summer and I must say, are far easier to chop than regular garlic (although I’m a pro at chopping garlic)! 

This lo mein dish with a delicious peanut-soy sauce is super speedy, and bok choy is the perfect veggie to compliment it! Pick your protein, or serve with a salad and get a healthy dinner on the table in no time.

Peanut-Soy Lo Mein With Bok Choy

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Martha Stewart and Fresh Fork Market):

  • Toasted sesame oil
  • 2 small heads of bok choy, stalks chopped and leaves cut separately
  • 6 garlic scapes, chopped (you could also use a couple of cloves of minced garlic instead)
  • 1 Tbsp chili paste
  • 1 package (10 oz) lo mein noodles
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

Bring a medium pot with water to a boil. Cook the lo mein noodles according to package directions and drain. These cook fast, so I suggest dropping the noodles after you cook the bok choy. The noodles I used took 4 minutes to cook.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add a little sesame oil, a couple turns of the pan. Add 4 chopped garlic scapes and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chili paste and saute, stirring, for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the bok choy stalks and saute for a minute. Then add the leaves and cook until wilted, another minute or two. Remove the bok choy and any liquid from the skillet to a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, honey and cornstarch together. Add the remaining chopped garlic scapes. Add the peanut-soy mixture to the same skillet you cooked the bok choy in and cook, whisking over medium heat. The mixture will thicken pretty quickly, it might almost look like it’s seizing up. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth to thin out, 1/4 cup at a time. Cook until the sauce is warmed through, then reduce the heat to low. Add the cooked lo mein and the bok choy you set aside, along with any liquid that may have settled in the bowl. Toss well to coat, allowing the noodles to soak up the sauce. Finish with a drizzle of the sesame oil.

Serve with a protein of your choice. Pictured above is grilled sirloin steak seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.





Italian-Deli Pasta Salad

28 05 2014

Wish I could take credit for this quick pasta salad, but it’s all Food Network Magazine on this one. Love the idea of using a jar of giardiniera (Italian relish of pickled veggies) – so tasty and such a fast ingredient to use. I just so happen to have an extra jar in the pantry. So when I saw this in my #FNMag, I knew I had to whip this up for our Memorial Day cookout!

Italian-Deli Pasta Salad

The following serves 8 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (original recipe called for mayo)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 16 oz jar of giardiniera, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup diced provolone (I suggest sharp provolone)
  • 1 cup diced salami (about 3/4 of a pound) – take some help from your deli, ask them to cut quarter-inch slices rather than giving you a large chunk of salami, this will make your chopping at home much easier!
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil and vinegar. Toss the dressing with the pasta, along with the chopped giardinera, provolone, salami, parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This Girl’s time-saving prep tip: Save yourself time day-of, and make most of this salad a day in advance. Chop the giardiniera, cheese and salami and store in individual ziplock bags or containers in the fridge. Chop the parsley and basil and store together in a ziplock in the fridge. Finally, make the dressing and store that covered in the fridge. Then the next day, cook the pasta and mix everything together…now you’re good to go to your party in no time!





Buffalo Potato Salad

27 05 2014

Each summer I try to have at least one new, go-to cookout side dish recipe at my fingertips that I know will be a winner and great addition to any potluck I’m headed too. Let me introduce you to this summer’s go-to…buffalo potato salad.

This combo by Food Network Magazine is brilliant, which got me rave reviews this past Memorial Day weekend! I’m basically down for trying anything that resembles buffalo chicken dip – and this did not disappoint! So much flavor and so simple, yum!

Buffalo Potato Salad

The following serves 8 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 2 and 1/2 lbs of potatoes, cubed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (original recipe called for mayo)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buffalo hot sauce (Frank’s)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400. Toss cubed potatoes with olive oil and salt. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until softened and beginning to brown, turning occasionally (just be gentle). Remove and let cool.

Mix the yogurt, sour cream and hot sauce in a large bowl. Toss to combine with cooled potatoes and the carrots and celery. Gently fold in the blue cheese and green onions (or serve the blue cheese on the side if you have guests that don’t like blue cheese).

Taste, and season with salt if needed.

This Girl’s time-saving prep tip: Save yourself time day-of, and make this salad a day in advance. Roast the potatoes and store in a covered container in the fridge. Chop your veggies and store in a large ziplock bag or another container in the fridge. Finally, make the dressing and store that covered in the fridge. Then the next day, mix everything together with the blue cheese (or serve the cheese on the side) and you’re good to go to your party!





Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

21 05 2014

This rustic Tuscan bean side dish is deliciously creamy and loaded with both flavor and nutrition! It whips up pretty quickly too. Get some chicken or steak on the grill while you prepare this, and before you know it you’ll have a lovely weeknight meal ready to enjoy.

Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch kosher salt to taste
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium, reduced-fat beef stock
  • Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 2-3 oz fontina cheese, cubed (you want to use fontina because it melts really well)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat a few Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, a minute or so. Add rosemary, red pepper flakes and just a pinch of salt. Next add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, stock, olives and cheese. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cheese will melt nicely into the stock, creating a nice creamy dish.

Meanwhile in a large saute pan, heat some oil and saute kale until wilted and cooked, 5-10 minutes. You can make as much as you like, I filled the pan (remember it shrinks when it cooks). Transfer sautéed kale to the beans and finish cooking together the final 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dish out beans, top with parsley and enjoy alongside a protein of your choice. I served with grilled chicken breasts.





Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Burgers With Kale Pesto on Multi-Grain Ciabatta

6 05 2014

The hubster recently bought a StufZ Burger Press, and was excited to use this stuffing contraption tonight! It’s not a bad little gizmo, but sometimes the best tools in the kitchen are your own two hands. 🙂

These Mediterranean burgers are quite tasty! By using fresh kale pesto as the condiment, and multi-grain ciabatta as the bun, you’ve got yourself a healthy burger rendition too.

Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Burgers With Kale Pesto

The following makes 4 burgers (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon zest
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups kale, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 loaf multi-grain ciabatta bread, cut into burger size tops and bottoms

Preheat grill to medium to medium-high.

Mix ground beef with salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder to taste, along with 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Form seasoned meat into 8 small patties.

Combine goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and about 1 tsp of lemon zest in a bowl.

To stuff the burgers, use half the patties and add some crumbled goat cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the middle of the patty, about a heaping Tbsp or so worth on each of the four burgers. Be sure to leave an outside edge. Top each with the remaining patties and press to seal the edges firmly all the way around.

Brush stuffed burgers with a little olive oil on both sides and grill until desired temp. Grilling time will vary based on how large your burgers are. Once cooked to your likeness, remove burgers from the grill and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

While the burgers rest, make the pesto by adding the kale, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 tsp each salt and red pepper flakes and the zest of 1 lemon to a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, then stream in 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and process until well combined and smooth.

Brush the ciabatta with the kale pesto, top with a burger and serve with a salad, like a corn and arugula salad.

To make the salad, grill 4 ears of corn tossed in a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Grill until charred on all sides and kernels are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and cool until you can handle. Using a large knife, scrap the kernels off the cobs into a large bowl. Mix with some of the kale pesto, olive oil and lemon juice. Fold in a couple handfuls of arugula, top with some crumbled goat cheese and enjoy alongside the burgers.