Southwestern Kale Salad with Shrimp & Lemon-Cumin Dressing

This salad makes me happy. And it’s not even what I intended to make for dinner. I like to plan my meals at the beginning of the week, so that I only have to go to the grocery store once. And I forgot to consult my trusty meal list and used the chicken in the curry instead of the shrimp, which made me revamp my meal plans. Although I still want to make the totally different chicken and kale salad that I planned on making, this was a great accidental summer dish!

To make the salad, cut the leaves of the kale off of the stem. Then roll up the leaves about 3 or 4 at a time and slice them into thin strips. Next, you’ll want to whip up the dressing so that you can toss it together with the kale and let it sit while you’re making the rest of the salad. Stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, and salt and massage it into the kale.

Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add the corn and stir it around until it is lightly charred, about 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the corn from the skillet and lower the heat to medium. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with desired seasoning – I used chili powder, coriander, cumin, and a little salt. Cook about 4 minutes or until pink.

Top the kale with the shrimp, corn, sliced avocado, and feta cheese.

 Southwestern Kale Salad with Shrimp & Lemon-Cumin Dressing

Serves 4

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 bunch kale
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
2 avocados, sliced
Spices for shrimp, such as chili powder, coriander, and cumin
Salt to taste
1 T. olive oil

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt to taste

Thoroughly wash the kale and cut the leaves off of the stem. Roll up the leaves about 3 or 4 at a time and slice into thin strips. To make the dressing, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, and salt. Massage the dressing into the kale and set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add the corn and stir it around until it is lightly charred, about 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the corn from the skillet and lower the heat to medium. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with desired seasoning (suggested: chili powder, coriander, cumin, and salt). Cook about 4 minutes or until pink.

Top the kale with shrimp, corn, sliced avocado, and feta cheese.

Roasted Carrot & Chickpea Quinoa

Saturday morning we took a trip to the Peachtree Road Farmers Market. We are not early risers on the weekend so just making it there before it closed was a small victory in and of itself. We started the morning with some fresh crepes  from Crepe Masters filled with eggs, cheese, and bacon, and some delicious Batdorf & Bronson coffee. There are so many wonderful local vendors with so many different kinds of products – grassfed beef, shrimp caught off the shore of Savannah, fresh goat cheese, handmade ravioli, artisan Greek yogurt, and of course all sorts of beautiful fruits and vegetables. Our only regret was that we didn’t get there earlier, because they sell out of things pretty quickly. Oh, and we forgot a bag to keep all of our purchases in (I know, gasp!). It’s the same shameful feeling you get at Whole Foods when they ask if you brought your own bag and you have to apologetically request a paper one.

In addition to some ground beef, honey, and yogurt, we stocked up on lots of fresh vegetables – dino kale, spring onions, cucumbers, and these pretty multi-colored carrots. I decided to roast the carrots and add them to some chickpeas, quinoa, toasted walnuts, feta, and fresh parsley from my miniature herb garden. I mixed in a cumin lemon vinaigrette and packed it up for lunch!

 

Roasted Carrot & Chickpea Quinoa

Inspired by Perry’s Plate
Serves 2 as a main dish

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch carrots
1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
3 T. parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
Salt & pepper to taste

For the dressing:
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel carrots and slice them diagonally, coat with the olive oil, and season with salt & pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, combine quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. To make dressing, combine all ingredients and mix well. Combine quinoa, carrots, chickpeas, toasted walnuts, parsley, and feta in a bowl and mix in dressing.

{Look for Less} Black Jumpsuit

First there was the romper craze and now it’s all about the jumpsuit. While jumpsuits always make an appearance every now and then, they’ve come on the scene full force lately. While there are all sorts of pretty patterned varieties, my favorite look is still the classic black jumpsuit with clean lines. Since they are trendy, I don’t really want to spend a ton of cash on one. At around $85, this ASOS number comes pretty close to the Tibi one I’d been eyeing. Love it paired with a strappy sandal and classic make-up and accessories. Want other styling inspiration? Try it belted with a pump, pair it with a bold red shoe, or add a white blazer and lace-up heel.

Spring Shopping: Sugary Hues

1. Scallop Bikini – TOPSHOP (top, bottom) / 2. Pale Pink Wrap Skort – TOPSHOP / 3. Nail polish – Essie Spring 2014 Collection / 4. Crossbody Bag – French Connection / 5. Linen cardigan – J.Crew / 6. Lace dress – H&M / 7. High Heel Sandal – Zara / 8. Earrings – Aldo

I usually gravitate towards bold or neutral colored hues, but after seeing pastels all over the runway for Spring I’m starting to warm up to them. There’s something so ladylike and sweet about pastels, and they make me think of patio brunches and Easter get-togethers.  What’s not to love?

 

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted! Just because there haven’t been any posts lately doesn’t mean I haven’t been trying out some new dishes. We moved out of our one bedroom tiny condo and into a house (yay!) so there is so much more space to cook and photograph. The problem is just trying to cross things off of my growing to-do list and still have time to cook and post!

Anyways, enough about all of that. Now that the weather has been getting warmer I have been craving fresh, healthy, no-cook meals, especially ones I can pack for lunch. Lately I’ve been packing lots of lunches that combine some sort of beans (usually garbanzo or black) and lots of fresh vegetables. Enter the black bean and avocado salad. It doesn’t get much healthier than this – protein from the black beans, healthy fat from the avocado, and of course lots of good-for-you vegetables. You don’t even need any oil! The cilantro and lime juice fill in for that.

All it takes to make this dish happen is a little chopping. Combine all of the ingredients except avocado in large bowl and mix well. Add in avocado and stir gently to combine.

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Serves 2-4

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup frozen organic corn, thawed
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients except avocado in large bowl and mix well. Add in avocado and stir gently to combine.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

As I’ve mentioned before on here, quinoa based dishes are my go-to for healthy, portable lunches. Not only is this quinoa dish healthy and flavorful, it’s also super cheap to make! I typically try to stick to the same combination: quinoa + extra protein (quinoa already has some protein, but I like to add more) + vegetables + dressing. Then you can add in the fun stuff like cheese, fresh herbs, fruit, nuts, etc. I usually just use raw veggies in my quinoa, but the thought of roasted vegetables sounded good this week in the cold weather! You can serve this warm, at room temperature, or cold.

I think roasted vegetables look so pretty!

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small eggplant, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
15 oz. can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup + 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place zucchini, eggplant, and red onion on baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons (or more, if needed) of olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package instructions. To make dressing, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Combine roasted vegetables, quinoa, and chickpeas in large bowl. Pour dressing over mixture and mix well. Top with fresh basil and goat cheese.

Ginger Sesame Ahi Tuna Steaks

tastykitchen

I’ve been on an Asian food kick lately. For weeks my go to weeknight dinner was Sriracha lime salmon served with a side of gingery vegetables and rice, but the ahi tuna steaks were on sale at the grocery store this week so I couldn’t pass them up. Fish is one of my favorite things to cook on a weeknight because it’s so quick – these tuna steaks only need 4-6 minutes of cooking time!

The marinade is just soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, grated ginger, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, and toasted sesame oil. You don’t even need to let these marinate long. I only let them marinate about 10 minutes and they were full of flavor.

Grill tuna steaks in a grill pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with a stir fry of brown rice noodles and vegetables sauteed in ginger and garlic. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like!

Ginger Sesame Ahi Tuna Steaks

Serves 2

2 ahi tuna steaks
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp.)
1 T. brown sugar
Sesame seeds for topping, if desired

Stir together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar. Coat tuna steaks with marinade and let sit at least 10 minutes. Heat grill pan over medium heat and grill tuna 2-3 minutes per side. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.