Bring on Spring (Salads) & Such

SNACKS

Easy Apple Applesauce Muffins  – Sweet, moist, and appley.  Yum.

DINNERS

Roasted Tomato Soup with Oven Baked Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – This dinner option never gets old because it’s sooooo good.

Corn and Tomato Pizza With Cilantro and Goat Cheese – Hello old friend…sorry it’s been so long since we’ve enjoyed spending time eating you!  Seriously people…have you tried this yet?

Spiralized Zucchini “Zoodle” Salad With Tomatoes & Goat Cheese and Pan Seared Chicken Sausage – This is a room temperature salad that would be great for an office luncheon or picnic.  It’s also swell the next day when the flavors have really settled in and made themselves at home.

Greek Salad with Pan Seared Chicken – A super duper easy dinner option that could also work great for an office event too.

Hope something makes your belly smile…

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Easy Apple Applesauce Muffins

Adapted from Weelicious 

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. homemade buttermilk (see recipe below) or (alternative organic milk)
1/2 c. honey
1 large organic egg
1 t. organic vanilla extract

Stir In Ingredients
1 c. peeled and chopped organic apples (about 2 medium apples)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a muffin pan (alternative: silicone muffin cups).

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.  Very gently, stir in the apples.  Fill muffin containers ¾ full and bake approximately 15 minutes.

Muffin Tips:

  • Mix/stir as little as possible to create fluffy, moist muffins.
  • I don’t like the clean toothpick test for muffins because they are often overdone. Muffins continue to cook for a bit longer when removed from the oven.  Instead of the toothpick test, watch for them to begin releasing from the edge of the baking cup/tin (and look for a slightly golden color).
  • Once you’ve baked a few batches, you’ll begin to learn your oven’s ideal baking time.

Homemade Buttermilk

Ingredients
2 T. of white vinegar or lemon juice
1 c. organic milk

Directions: Stir together both ingredients in a small bowl and allow rest for 5 minutes.


Roasted Tomato Soup with Oven Baked Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Adapted from Food Network

IMG_7617

Ingredients
1 lb. vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered, & deseeded
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil (divided = 1 T, 2 T.)
Sea salt
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced, optional (but oh so flavorful)
1 (28-ounce) can organic crushed or whole tomatoes (preferably, San Marzano)
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 loaf 100% whole grain sourdough bread, broken into bite sized pieces
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional topping)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle the tomatoes with 1 T. of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss the tomatoes with your hands to evenly cover with oil and salt. Roast in the oven (approximately 20 minutes) or until the edges are browning slightly.

In the meantime, heat a stock pot to medium heat. Add the remaining 2 T. of olive oil, fresh basil, and garlic. Sauté one minute, stirring constantly. Immediately add the canned tomatoes and water (refill the tomato can with water to get all of the tomato bits and juices). With a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Stir in the bread. Add the roasted tomatoes when done roasting (don’t forget to reserve a few for the grilled cheese sandwiches). Scrape the baking sheet to get all of the roasted bits and remaining oil. Allow the soup to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. (I like to use a hand held immersion blender to puree the soup just a bit).

Serve with a drizzle of the olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Tips:

  • Reserve a few roasted tomatoes for the Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • The original recipe calls for “day old” bread. This is not essential. You can use bread straight from the bread bag. It won’t impact the recipe in the least.

Oven Baked Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

IMG_7616

Ingredients
100% whole grain sourdough bread
Organic mozzarella cheese slices or shredded
organic tomatoes, very thinly sliced (alternative: several roasted tomatoes from the soup recipe)
fresh basil leaves

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Assemble the sandwiches as if you were making them for the traditional skillet version.

Sandwich order: bread, cheese, basil leaves, tomatoes, a bit more cheese, and bread. Place buttered side down on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes on each side. Check on the sandwiches a few minutes early to ensure the bread is not getting too dark.


Corn and Tomato Pizza With Cilantro and Goat Cheese

Adapted from Bev Cooks

IMG_7118

Dough
Trader Joe’s premade whole wheat dough, prepared per package directions

Pizza Toppings
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2-3 NON GMO sweet corn ears, shucked and kernels removed (alternative: 2 c. frozen NON GMO sweet corn)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small pkg. organic cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 c. organic mozzarella, shredded
2 oz. goat cheese
Sea salt/black pepper, freshly ground
Tabasco style hot sauce, optional topping (recommended if you omit the jalapeno)

Directions: Preheat the oven to required pizza dough temperature.

In a medium/large skillet warmed to medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and jalapeno (if using). Sauté until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add the corn and sauté another 5 minutes. The next step happens quickly because you do not want to burn the garlic! Add the garlic, stirring constantly, allowing it to cook for about a minute or until you can really smell it. Immediately squeeze the lemon over the skillet.  Stir in the cilantro and the cherry tomatoes.  The heat will help the tomatoes to release their juices (about 5 minutes).

Remove from the heat. With the dough on the pizza stone or baking sheet, add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, followed by the corn mixture. Crumble the goat cheese atop the pizza and add the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake according to pizza crust directions. This is amazing – especially with a few drops of hot sauce on each slice!!!


Spiralized Zucchini “Zoodle” Salad With Tomatoes & Goat Cheese and Pan Seared Chicken Sausage

Adapted from Mama Balance

Salad Ingredients
3-4 organic zucchini, spiralized
1 pint organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ c. fresh organic basil, thinly sliced
1 T. sunflower seeds (alternative: pine nuts)
1.5 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients
2 T.  balsamic vinegar (alternative: red wine vinegar)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
½ t. sea salt, freshly ground
¼ t. black pepper, freshly ground
1/8 t. dried crushed red pepper, optional

Directions: Whisk together the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, assemble the salad in the order listed.  Pour the salad dressing over the top.  Season with sea salt/pepper to taste.

[If pairing the salad with chicken sausage, set the salad aside or in the refrigerator.]

Pan sear the chicken sausage.  Serve alongside the salad.


Greek Salad with Pan Seared Chicken

Adapted from Katri

Salad Ingredients
1 pint of organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (Alternative: any organic tomato)
1 organic cucumber, chopped (skin on or off, up to you)
1 organic bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 c. Kalamata olives, halved
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients
2 T. of fresh lemon juice (alternative: lime juice)
2 T. vinegar (red or white wine vinegar)
1 t. dried oregano
2 t. of dried parsley, optional
1 t. of sea salt
1/2 t. of freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. of extra virgin olive oil
4 drops organic stevia, optional

Directions: Stir together all ingredients for the dressing. Set aside. Add all veggies and cheese to a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top, and gently stir. If you can wait, refrigerate this for at least 30 minutes. The flavors will marry and get happier the longer they hang out together.

While the salad flavors spend some time getting to know each other, pan sear the chicken.

CSA + Game Day = A Win!

SNACKS
Sweet Beet Cookies – Yes, these are cookies with beets in them. They are  undetectable in the cookies…well, except for the color. These cuties are  slightly sweet and perfect with hot tea (if you’re feeling British). If you like a sweeter cookie, increase the organic coconut palm sugar just a bit.

DINNERS
Easy Caprese Salad & Greek Turkey Burgers – It’s officially college football season in the bluegrass [Go CATS] and tailgating menus have begun. While we opted for a rather traditional burgers/dogs menu this week, that doesn’t mean the burgers or sides have to be dull. This quick and super easy caprese salad is always a hit. It, along with the ever popular Greek Turkey Burgers, can even be prepared the night before and refrigerated until game day!!

Breakfast for Dinner – Olive Oil Drop Biscuits, Bacon, & Eggs – Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? Don’t have time to roll and cut out traditional biscuits? No worries. Mix and drop these guys on a baking sheet…Presto!

Feta Watermelon Salad with Grilled Chicken – Okay, peeps. If you’ve ventured into the feta watermelon salad craze, now’s your chance to take it to the next level. This flavor combination is incredible. I’ve heard from a pretty reliable source (guest blogger here) that switching the basil to fresh mint is also fantastic. This is another great tailgate dish option!

Greek Salad with Chicken Sausage – Fast, fresh, score!!

Spinach and Ricotta Turkey Meatloaf – This meals seems out of context with the rest of this week’s recipes. But hey, a craving is a craving! I don’t care what season it is… this meatloaf = delicious comfort.

Hope something makes your belly smile…

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Sweet Beet Cookies

Adapted from Weelicious


1 c. whole white wheat flour
1/2 t. baking powder
4 T. organic coconut palm sugar
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 c. organic raw beets, shredded fine
4 T. olive oil
¼ c. milk
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, coconut palm sugar, and sea salt. Stir in the shredded raw beets until coated with the flour mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and olive oil and pour it over the dry ingredients. Stir until incorporated, eventually working the mixture together with your hands to form a dough ball. Lightly flour a dry surface and roll the dough until ¼” to 1/2” thick. Cut shapes using cookie cutters. Bake on parchment or silicone lined baking sheets. (I’ve also used a Pampered Chef baking stone) for 15 minutes.


Easy Caprese Salad with Grilled Chicken

Adapted from Savory Sweet Life


2 pints organic cherry tomatoes, halved
16 oz. fresh “mini” mozzarella pearls, halved
6-8 T. olive oil
Big bunch basil leaves (18+ leaves), finely chopped or get fancy and chiffonade
½ to 1 t. sea salt
½ to 1 t. freshly ground pepper
Balsamic reduction, optional (easy recipe below)
Directions: In a medium bowl, gently toss the tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a drizzling of balsamic glaze (optional). Refrigerate or serve immediately.

Serve with pan seared organic chicken breasts.

Balsamic Reduction
1 c. store bought balsamic vinegar
4-5 drops organic stevia drops (optional)
Directions: In a small sauce pan, add the balsamic vinegar and stevia.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer until it has reduced by one-half (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally.  It’s done when it is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.


Breakfast for Dinner – Olive Oil Drop Biscuits, Bacon, and Eggs

1 c. whole white wheat flour
1.5 t. baking powder
.5 t. sea salt
1 T. local honey (alternative: 6 drops of organic stevia), optional
¼ c. olive oil
½ c. milk
Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk and olive oil (add the sweetener now, if using it). Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined. Use large serving spoons or a large scooper to “drop” the biscuits on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Makes approximately 6 biscuits.

Note: Recipe can be doubled.

Serve with preservative bacon and organic free range eggs.


Feta Watermelon Salad with Pan Seared Chicken

Adapted from Farm Flavor


4 heaping c. 1-inch watermelon chunks, seeds removed
1 ½ c. organic tomatoes, chopped or grape tomatoes, halved
½ c. red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
¼ c. fresh organic basil, chopped (alternative: mint)
1 ½ T. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. fresh lime or lemon juice
¼ t. freshly ground salt
¹⁄₈ t. freshly ground black pepper
½ c. crumbled feta cheese
Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. Option: Add the onions to the dressing to “soften their bite.” Otherwise, to a large serving bowl, add the watermelon, tomatoes, onions, and basil. Gently stir and top with the feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the top. Enjoy!

Serve with pan seared chicken.


Greek Salad with Chicken Sausage

Adapted from Katri

Salad
1 pint of organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (Alternative: any organic tomato)
1 organic cucumber, chopped (skin on or off, up to you)
1 organic bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 c. Kalamata olives, halved
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing
2 T. of fresh lemon juice (alternative: lime juice)
2 T. vinegar (red or white wine vinegar)
1 t. dried oregano
2 t. of dried parsley, optional (I’ve omitted it when I didn’t have any, and it was still great!)
1 t. of sea salt
1/2 t. of freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. of extra virgin olive oil
4 drops organic stevia, optional
Directions: Stir together all ingredients for the dressing. Set aside. Add all veggies and cheese to a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top, and gently stir. If you can wait, refrigerate this for at least 30 minutes. The flavors will marry and get happier the longer they hang out together.


Spinach and Ricotta Turkey Meatloaf

Adapted from In Sock Monkey Slippers


1 lb. all natural ground turkey
10 oz. organic frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry*
2/3 c. ricotta cheese
2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced (Carly: added)
1 cage free, organic egg, beaten
1/2 c. whole wheat bread crumbs (alternative: ¼ c. ground flax seed + ¼ c. almond meal)
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. fresh black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
1 c. organic, sugar free marinara (tip: read labels to avoid sugars, corn syrups, soybean oil, etc.)
1/3 c. organic mozzarella cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients (EXCEPT marinara and mozzarella) with your hands. Line a bread loaf pan with plastic wrap. Add turkey mixture to the loaf pan, pressing it down firmly.  Place a baking sheet on top of the bread loaf pan. Invert the loaf pan upside down onto the baking sheet. Gently life the loaf pan to find your meatloaf resting on top of the baking sheet (you’re done with the loaf pan). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the marinara and then the mozzarella cheese. Bake for the remaining 30 minutes.

NOTE: This makes a juicy, yet “crusty-crunchy” exterior style meatloaf. In our house, the crusty ends are the pièces de résistance. If for some reason, unbeknownst to me, you don’t like slightly crunchy ends, top the uncooked meatloaf with the marinara and mozzarella cheese and bake for the entire 50 minutes.

Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s House Salad
Organic greens of your choice
¼ c. chopped walnuts
½ red onion, sliced
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Balsamic reduction
Balsamic Reduction
1 c. store bought balsamic vinegar
4-5 drops organic stevia drops (optional) (alternative 1 t. honey)

Directions: In a small sauce pan, add the balsamic vinegar and stevia.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer until it has reduced by one-half (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally.  It’s ready when it is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.

A Flop Turned Fab … When Coconut Cream Doesn’t Cooperate

Snacks

1. Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake Cupcakes – So yummy, so easy. I love, love carrot cake and these carrot cake muffins don’t disappoint. See my notes below as a kitchen flop occurred with this frosting that we turned into a treat.

2. Avocado Milkshake – Lucky me (and now you) because I discovered that avocados make delicious milkshakes thanks to Good Eats/Alton Brown.

Dinners

1. Farmer’s Market Skillet – This is a lose your mind kind of good meal. Tons of flexibility with the ingredients too. Think fresh summer vegetables topped with a sweet yet lemony and garlic vinaigrette. A friend introduced me to this recipe, and now I’m passing it on to you! You can thank me later 😉

2. Greek Salad – Quick, summer meal that is ready in less than 15 minutes. Winner, winner every time it’s for dinner. Serve it alongside some grilled chicken or all by itself.

3. Sweet Corn with Beets and Basil with Chicken Sausage – You’ve seen this here before, and you’ll see it here again. It’s such a hit with my family. We’ve never been so excited to see beets in our CSA box!

4. Fresh Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Lemon, Garlic & Capers – This is one of the best examples of a fresh, summery pasta that is ready in a flash. No cooking required (other than the pasta). The “sauce” is prepared by soaking garlic and finely chopped onions in lemon juice. Throw in some tomatoes, capers, and fresh parsley, and a very impressive (entertaining quality) dinner is ready in minutes!

5. Crunchy Kale and Cabbage Salad with Grilled Herb Chicken – A salad that seems rather ordinary ends up being anything but ordinary! The dressing just makes this salad. I really like to add good quality blue cheese because it can hold its own alongside the kale and cabbage and tangy dressing. Here’s a great salad that doesn’t get sad on day two – leftovers retain their crunchiness which is a rare find with salads!

Hope Something Makes Your Belly Smile…


Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake Cupcakes


Adapted from Happy Healthy Mama

Cupcakes
• 1 +1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
• 1 +1/2 t. baking powder
• 1/2 t. baking soda
• 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
• 1/2 t. ground ginger
• 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
• 3/4 t. sea salt
• 2 organic eggs
• 2/3 c. organic, unsweetened applesauce
• 1/3 c. pure maple syrup (alternative: honey)
• 2 t. organic vanilla extract
• 1/4 c. crushed pineapple, drained
• 2 c. organic carrots, shredded
• 1/3 c. organic raisins

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease metal muffin tins with a healthy oil. Alternatively, use silicone muffin cups.
2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, & sea salt).
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, & vanilla).
4. Stir the pineapple, carrots, and raisins into the wet ingredients.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir just until combined.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting
• 8 oz. organic cream cheese, at room temperature (alternative: 8 oz. canned full fat coconut or coconut cream)
• 4 T. pure maple syrup
• 1 t. organic vanilla extract
• 1 t. cinnamon
• Pinch of sea salt

Directions:
1. Whisk together all ingredients.
2. Ice cupcakes when completely cooled.

Notes/Kitchen Flop: If using coconut cream or coconut milk, be sure it is solidified. Read more about this here. Sometimes, for reasons unbeknownst to me, a can of coconut cream is not solid. When that is the case, just know that it can’t be used to make thick, creamy frosting. I tried to outsmart my can of liquid coconut cream by freezing and then using it. As you can see by the picture, the cream attempted to outsmart me when it returned to a liquid state upon thawing. However, in the end, I won the battle of the frosting by using the cupcake dip/soak method.

Tip: If using cream cheese for the frosting, know that it “melts” as it warms. Consider frosting the cupcakes just before eating them instead of icing them all at once. This also allows me to eat a spoonful of the icing, when needed 😋


Avocado Milkshake


Inspiration: Good Eats: Curious Yet Tasty Avocado Experiment episode

• 1 avocado
• 1 c. organic milk (plus more to achieve your desired consistency)
• 2-3 T. local honey
• ¼ t. vanilla extract
• 1/8 to ¼ t. cinnamon, optional

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Combine until smooth.


Sweet Corn with Beets and Basil and Grilled Chicken Sausage


Adapted from Martha Stewart

• 2 ears of organic corn, husked
• 6-8 baby beets, trimmed and scrubbed
• 1-2 T. fresh basil, chopped
• 2 oz. goat cheese
• Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. In a large pot of salted water, boil the corn until cooked (about 4-5 minutes). Remove corn and set aside, retain the water.
2. Add the beets to the water and simmer until soft (about 30 minutes). Remove the beets and allow them to cool slightly.
3. Remove the beet skins by sliding them off with protected hands. (I use “sandwich bag gloves.”)
4. Once the skins are removed, dice the beets and place them in a serving bowl.
5. Cut the kernels from the cobs, add them to the beets and gently mix to combine.
6. Top the salad with basil and goat cheese crumbles.
7. Drizzle with olive oil.
8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Do not over stir or all will become pink.

Serve with grilled preservative free chicken sausage.


Farmers Market Skillet


Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

• 1-3/4 c. organic chicken broth
• 1 c. organic quinoa, rinsed and drained
• 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2-3 small organic zucchini, quartered and sliced (or half a large one)
• 1 organic bell pepper
• ½ red onion
• 1 small eggplant
• 2-3 ears organic, NON GMO corn kernels, cut from the cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
• Sea salt & pepper, to taste
• 1-2 vine-ripened organic tomato, chopped (alternative: organic cherry tomatoes, halved)
• 1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
• 2 T. fresh basil, chopped

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

• 1 lemon, zested & juiced (alternative: lime)
• 1 1/2 T. local honey (preferably raw)
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/2 t. sea salt
• 1/4 t. pepper

Directions:
1. Prepare the vinaigrette by stirring all ingredients together. Set aside.
2. Prepare the quinoa according to package directions, substituting organic chicken or vegetable stock for water.
3. Warm a large skillet to nearly medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic. Sauté the garlic for about a minute or until fragrant.
4. Add the onions, bell pepper, and a tiny bit of salt/pepper to the skillet. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
5. Add the eggplant and corn to the skillet and again season with a tiny bit of salt/pepper. Cook until the eggplant begins to soften, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
6. Stir in the cooked quinoa and ½ of the vinaigrette.
7. Add the tomatoes, feta, basil, and remaining vinaigrette and stir.
8. Allow everything to cook for another minute or two. Season with salt/pepper, to taste.
9. Finish each plate with a drizzle of olive oil.

Notes: The possibilities are endless with the veggies in this recipe. Veggies I would not omit are corn and tomatoes. From there…it’s a matter of what you like. Okra could work in this dish as well as some fresh greens (which would wilt with the heat), mushrooms, etc. If quinoa isn’t your bag, you could substitute farro, Israeli cous cous, barley, etc. Let your pantry and refrigerator contents be your guide!


Greek Salad


Adapted from Katri

Salad

• 1 pint of organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (Alternative: any organic tomato)
• 1 organic cucumber, chopped (skin on or off, up to you)
• 1 organic bell pepper, chopped
• 1 small red onion, chopped
• 1 c. Kalamata olives, halved
• 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing

• 2 T. of fresh lemon juice (alternative: lime juice)
• 2 T. vinegar (red or white wine vinegar)
• 1 t. dried oregano
• 2 t. of dried parsley, optional (I’ve omitted it when I didn’t have any, and it was still great!)
• 1 t. of sea salt
• 1/2 t. of freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 c. of extra virgin olive oil
• 4 drops organic stevia, optional

Directions:
1. Stir together all ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
2. Add all veggies and cheese to a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top, and gently stir.
3. If you can wait, refrigerate this for at least 30 minutes. The flavors will marry and get happier the longer they hang out together.


Fresh Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Lemon, Garlic & Capers


Adapted from Spoon With Me

• 3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 medium lemons)
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 4 large cloves garlic, minced
• 2 lbs. ripe, organic tomatoes, chopped (about 5 tomatoes)
• ¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped (alternative: if you love parsley, increase to ½ c.)
• 2 oz. capers, drained
• 1 t. sea salt, plus more to taste
• 1 t. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
• 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 lb. 100% whole wheat pasta
• Parmesan cheese, optional topping

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice, onion, and garlic. Set aside and allow to rest at least 10 minutes.
2. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.
3. While the pasta is cooking, chop the tomatoes and parsley.
4. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and capers to the lemon juice.
5. Add the drained pasta (do not rinse) to the lemon juice.
6. Stir in the olive oil and season with salt/pepper to taste.

7. Finish each plate with Parmesan cheese.

Tips/Notes

• The key is to allow the garlic and onions to rest in the lemon juice at least 10 minutes! It really softens the  onion and garlic flavors.
• Finish with good quality parmesan cheese.
• I’ve tried fresh basil in place of the parsley. The basil was overpowered by the onion and lemon. If you love parsley, consider increasing amount to ½ c. as called for in the original recipe.


Crunchy Kale and Cabbage Salad with Pan Seared Chicken Sausage


Adapted from The Naked Kitchen

Salad

• 1 bunch red or green organic kale, stems removed and thinly sliced (3-4 cups)
• 1 small head cabbage, cored, quartered and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

Dressing

• 2 handfuls of sliced almonds + 1 handful reserved for topping (alternative: nut of preference)
• 3 T. apple cider vinegar (alternatives: balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, red wine vinegar)
• 3 T. organic mayo (alternative: organic plain Greek Yogurt)
• 2 T. pure maple syrup (alternative: local honey)
• 1 T. Dijon mustard
• sea salt and pepper to taste

Optional Topping

• Gorgonzola crumbles (alternative: any blue cheese variety)

Directions:
1. In a small food processor or blender, combine all dressing ingredients. Set aside.
2. In a serving bowl, stir together the kale and cabbage. Pour the dressing over the top and mix thoroughly.
3. Top salad with reserved nuts and cheese.
4. Season with salt/pepper to taste.
Serve with pan seared preservative free chicken sausage.