Asian Style Marinated Green Bean Salad

Today I have a great summertime recipe for you! Green bean salad is a great alternative to a hot side dish on a summer day, and so much more fun than a bowl of lettuce! It’s crunchy, tangy and packed full of flavor thanks to a blend of sesame and soy.

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Sesame Kale Sauté with Garlic and Shallot // Quick and Easy Side

I’ve been really burned out in the kitchen the past 2 weeks, and have been turning to quick and easy meals to keep Ovi and I fed and happy. Kale is a staple that I reach for whenever I haven’t planned dinner, and want to get something nutritious on the table fast. This sesame kale saute was ready in about 10 minutes, and was a delicious accompaniment to some equally quick and yummy grilled salmon.

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Nearly Fool-Proof Spanish Rice

Spanish rice is the perfect accompaniment to Mexican, TexMex, and Spanish entrees. It tastes great with chicken, steak, and is especially delicious when topped with homemade salsa. It’s a simple recipe, but packs a serious punch in the flavor department. With a little love, you can make a batch of Spanish rice that will rival your favorite restaurant’s recipe. Bold claims, I know.

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Curried Couscous with Shallots and Winter Greens

Every year, mid January, I start craving summertime food. I long for tomatoes, and watermelons, and sweet peas and I want to grill everything. It’s my mini revolt against the fruit starved winter markets. If you’ve been reading my posts for the past week, you may have noticed my mini rebellion via grilled vegetarian dishes in the dead of winter. This dish nicely satiated my desire for something fresh and summery, and saved me from an always regrettable purchase of grainy out of season tomatoes. Curried couscous with wilted winter greens is a light but filling side dish with bold smoky flavors. It reminds me of summertime barbecues, and makes the most of fresh, beautiful and nutrient packed winter greens.

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Grilled Eggplant Steaks with Spicy Hoisin and Balsamic Glaze

These simple grilled eggplant steaks were delicious. Cooking them on the grill enhanced their natural nutty flavor, and the spicy, tangy sauce made for a flavorful meal. The steaks cook up quickly and easily on the grill or inside on your grill pan. If you love eggplant, this is a recipe you’ll want to try.

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Roasted Heirloom Carrots with Carrot Green and Walnut Pesto

These lovely carrots were among the dishes that we served on Christmas day. When I saw them in the market, I knew that they would be coming home with me. The carrots are beautiful in their own right, and roasting them whole seemed to be the best way to present them. The rainbow root veggies looked beautiful on our Christmas table. The red purple and yellow colors looked vibrant and festive with the green pesto. The flavor of the carrot was intense and sweet, each color variation tasting a bit different. Roasting them to crisp/tender amplified their natural sweetness, and allowed the natural sugar to caramelize. The carrot green pesto was a beautiful bright contrast to the sweet roasted carrots. It’s fresh and nutty, with a sharp bite of Parmesan cheese and creamy, buttery walnuts. A perfect pairing straight from the garden – carrots dressed with a pesto of their own greens.

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Babaganoush with Roasted Garlic – Creamy Eggplant Dip

Babaganoush, what can I say. It’s creamy, delicious and it’s good for you. The creamy texture, the nutty, tangy flavor – so many things to love on top of the fact that it’s low calorie. The eggplant is roasted until the skin is charred, flesh removed, and made into a thick spread. Traditionally, finely minced raw garlic is used, but I greatly prefer roasted. The roasted garlic brings the nutty smoky flavor out in the dish, and is much less harsh-tasting.

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Skinny Coleslaw with Creamy Lime and Cilantro Dressing

I love coleslaw! Unfortunately, a lot of recipes are just dripping in mayo. No thank you! This version is tangy, crunchy and full of flavor. You won’t miss the mayo, promise.

With the addition of lime and cilantro, this slaw takes on a very TexMex flavor. It pairs beautifully with Mexican food of any kind. Use it as a topping, or a side dish. A few spoonfuls of this stuff on top of your tacos is a fun and flavorful substitution for lettuce. It’s especially great in the winter time when tomatoes (my very favorite topping) are out of season, and you want something with a little acidic bite to it to pair with hearty food.

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