This past week was a busy one! My husband’s family was in town from all over the country and it was so much fun catching up with all of them over the week. We had several picnics, dinners and even celebrated the Fourth of July with loads of fireworks at the beach.
Then over the weekend we were with my family and had a somewhat second celebration of the Fourth of July as well. We had such a nice time there as well kayaking, paddle boarding and going for boat rides. I felt like I missed out a lot last summer since I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy and being pregnant in the summer just isn’t ideal, so I’m looking forward to making up for it this summer!
For one of the picnics I made this Cannellini Bean Salad. I wanted to make a dish that was a little light but packed some freshness and flavor. This recipe is fairly simple and the prep time is rather quick since you just have to mise en place some veggies and make the dressing. I hope this offers you a new dish that you can take to a picnic this summer or gives you a new idea for dinner this week.
2 cans of cannellini beans
1/2 orange bell pepper
1/4 red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup of cilantro
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and drain the cannellini beans. Chop all vegetables. Add all chopped up ingredients into bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the first bowl of ingredients. Stir and enjoy!
Food often creates a sense of nostalgia for me. I can eat a slice of pie and have the crust remind me of the delicious homemade pies my grandma used to make every summer. Or when I eat a chocolate chip cookie, I always think back to the cookies my mom baked for us growing up.
It’s funny how certain scents, sounds or tastes can really remind us or momentarily transport us to a different time or place. I love how specific pastries and dishes do this for me.
One of my all time favorite meals my mom would make was this Spicy Noodle Salad. She didn’t make it too often, but when she did I knew I was in for a treat. It’s sweet with a dash of heat and is loaded with veggies, noodles and chicken and/or shrimp. Eating it definitely takes me back to my childhood.
I’m excited to share the recipe with you in hopes that you will enjoy it as much as I do. This makes a decent amount of servings, so it’s great if you are meal prepping for the week or need to take a meal to a friend.
14 oz. Thin spaghetti
7 Tablespoons Sesame oil
7 Tablespoons Soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chili oil (or less)
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ginger powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic chopped
Cooked chicken and/or shrimp
Cook spaghetti and rinse with cold water. Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with the noodles. Blanch vegetables (of choice: julienne carrots, red pepper, pea pods, broccoli, etc.) until their color is bright. Add veggies into the noodles and toss in cooked chicken and/or shrimp. This salad can be served hot or cold. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!
In sticking with the winter theme that currently is outside my office window, I would have to say that this is a great dish on a cold and snowy day. For whatever reason we have had an abundance of snow, and by abundance I mean like two inches but for Seattle it is a lot, this winter so far. I enjoy it for a few hours but then am ready for our roads to be clear again so I can avoid getting cabin fever.
This roasted butternut squash salad is actually hearty enough that I could eat it as a meal on its own or it works great as a side dish. It does take a bit of prep work with the butternut squash and quinoa but there are some shortcuts you can take. Instead of buying a whole butternut squash like I did, you could purchase the squash pre-cut in chunks from the grocery store. I also cut up romaine lettuce, I had intended to us pre-washed cut up kale, but it had gone bad by the time I needed it, so romaine lettuce substituted just fine. Either green would work well honestly.
This dish is really pretty and makes a nice presentation if you serve it in a clear bowl. However, I ended up tossing it right before we ate it with the dressing so that is an option too.
3 cups of cooked quinoa and/or brown rice
1/2 butternut squash roasted in chunks (I put olive oil, salt and pepper on mine and baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.)
1/2 cup of craisins
2 cups of kale or romaine lettuce (add more greens if you want a bigger salad)
Add each ingredient into a clear bowl so that you can see the layers individually. Sprinkle with goat cheese and add your favorite balsamic dressing to taste. Toss before serving. Enjoy!