Salads Recipes

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Balsamic Marinated Eggplant Recipe Recipe

It's Earth Day and the girls' school holds many events to educate them about how they can demonstrate support for environmental protection. Sunny, my 18-year-old sister-in-law,  made a vow she's going vegan this week. So the idea behind this summery dish is to highlight the beauty of fine balsamic vinegar while keeping the rules that are set for Earth Week in support of what's being done worldwide. For this dish, I simply sliced large meaty eggplants, sprinkled salt over to draw out the moisture and prevent any bitter taste or soggy texture. Then, the only thing that matters is the flavors that you put in the marinade. 

I used quality balsamic vinegar, a bit of unsweetened cocoa, Dijon mustard as the binder for the marinade, curly parsley for color and pine nuts for garnish. My favorite paring is seafood. Stay tuned for tomorrow's recipe and see what kind of fish I cooked.  


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Picnic Quinoa Salad Recipe Recipe

Picnic Quinoa Salad Recipe

04.14.14 by Jackie

 

My husband Lulu, baby Aria and I had a delightful time at San Gregorio beach this weekend. He took care of most of the food; I only prepared a salad. For easy transportation, I cooked quinoa and pre-seasoned it with a salad vinaigrette. I also added carrot, corn, broccolizucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and sweet cheese.

Lulu was so thoughtful and took care of the rest. He woke up early, took care of our new puppy Ernest, went groceries shopping, bought a baguette and a wonderful array of cheeses (manchego, out-of-this world truffle cheese, goat cheese, etc.) and packed the trunk of the car with our picnic bag with plates and cutlery. But I think the most beautiful surprise was when we reached the beach. He gave Aria a gift of a lovely beach sand toy set and bubble kit. You should have seen the excitement in her eyes; it almost made me teary.
 
It was such an incredible day: the weather was gorgeous; it was slightly overcast and the sounds of the waves were very pleasant. The view was spectacular with a beautiful soft sand beach and dunes to the right and a bridge to the left, complete with a creek underneath and a tunnel worn into the rocks nearby. We also enjoyed good food and stayed there for a few hours. My favorite part was watching Lulu and Aria building sand castles. Loved it!

Aria

 


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Beet Quinoa Recipe Recipe

Beet Quinoa Recipe

03.20.14 by Jackie

Quinoa is a fabulous side dish that contains no gluten. This gives you other options besides pasta and rice. Last night, I prepared it with beets. It added a beautiful color and subtle sweetness. I usually like to add beets to plain, bland food; they revive the most boring dishes and aren't complicated to cook. Simple shredded beets cook extremely fast. 

Baby Aria is so talkative now and her thirst for knowledge is growing everyday. She always asks what she's eating. She loves how "funny" the word quinoa sounds and she adores beets. I bet she's going to request more of this dish in the near future!


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Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper with Roasted Bell Pepper Coulis Recipe

Our family brunch this weekend was delightful but that doesn't mean it took us hours to prepare it. I had ready-made blueberry blossoms (individual free-form fruit pies) that I had stored in the freezer, so my only additions were a quiche and quinoa stuffed bell peppers on a bed of roasted bell pepper coulis. 

I especially loved preparing the quinoa dish. It was colorful, flavorful and nutritious. I cooked the quinoa slightly longer till it became slightly clumpy, so when I seasoned it with a basil vinaigrette, sun-dried tomatoes and blue goat cheese, the quinoa mixture was easy to fill into the bell pepper "cups". The bell pepper sauce added brightness, thanks to the addition of tomato paste and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and contrasted really well with the sharpness and pungency of the cheese.  


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Goat Cheese Arugula Recipe Recipe

Goat Cheese Arugula Recipe

02.27.14 by Jackie

There is something utterly delightful about this goat cheese arugula salad. The combination in the first place is  exquisite but I wanted to kick it up a notch by breading the medallions of goat cheese with crumbs of freshly baked brioche. I also added a carpaccio of mango and radish to add color to the salad.

The technique for obtaining perfectly sliced mango is nothing simpler than using thread. In my childhood, we would often use this method to slice meat pate for a clean cut, especially during the holidays. I often find myself using tools that don't necessarily belong in the kitchen, but are perfect for the job at hand.


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