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Category: Dinners

Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing 1

Summer is HERE!!!!!! And what says summer quite like this colorful Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing?

OK, according to the calendar, it’s not officially summer yet; it’s still 11 days away – but the weather doesn’t know that. Here in the Detroit area, the day I’m typing this is the epitome of a gorgeous summer day as far as I’m concerned. The sky is a bright blue, the grass, a vibrant lush green, and I got sunburned last weekend sitting outside on a rooftop patio eating pizza and drinking blueberry beer and then attending a baseball game – that equals summer to me. And I’m THRILLED. May through October is definitely my favorite chunk of the year hands-down, and I’m so happy to be right in the thick of it wearing sandals and cheerfully sweating my butt off.

I hope if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere like me that you’re experiencing beautiful summery weather and shenanigans that make you hungry – hungry for this Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing! And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and gearing up for winter with its chilliness and waning daylight hours, well, if you’re anything like me and not a fan of that time of year, you could use this Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing for the cheer of its vibrant colors alone. You can pretend you’re at a beach party eating it while you’re really holed up in your house hiding from the frigid temps in your flannel jammies – and then whip out this recipe the next time it IS summer and you ARE invited to a beach barbecue. That’s probably what I’ll be doing the next time it’s winter for me.

But for now, it’s summer where I live, so I’m extolling the virtues of this Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing as a warm-weather salad.

Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Feta, Blueberries, and Pecans

Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Feta, Blueberries, and Pecans 1

Hello, all! It’s May, and it’s maybe almost summer here in Michigan, and summer means fresh, healthful salads like this Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Feta, Blueberries, and Pecans!

It’s been two weeks since I’ve last posted, and I’m glad to be back in the game! Life has been a little crazy lately, but when is it not in this day and age for most of us, really? I let myself fall out of the habit of recipe creation and felt The Resistance – that dreaded force that plagues so many of us creatives – looming larger and larger. The longer I waited to try a draft of a recipe, the more daunting a task it felt.

Last night, I finally coaxed myself into trying a first draft of a vegan dessert recipe I’ve wanted to attempt for weeks. The result: a resounding FAIL. Draft 2 would require some prep work; I’d need at least a day or two to get back at it. I was discouraged.

Finally I decided this morning that if I wanted to get a post up, anything would do, really. That’s the kind of thing I have to tell myself as a recovering perfectionist. Perfect is the enemy of the good, right? (Any recovering perfectionists with me on that?) So I got up early and dragged myself to the grocery store, intending to pick up a few things for a granola recipe I had in mind – until a more tantalizing idea hit.

What about a salad, with fresh blueberries . . . and pecans . . . and arugula – of course arugula. And some quinoa. And my lemon vinaigrette.

OK, NOW we’re talking!

Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Feta, Blueberries, and Pecans was born.

Lemony Asparagus Risotto

Lemony Asparagus Risotto 1

Spring is here, and springtime means ASPARAGUS! I’ve been enjoying it since it came into season over the last month and was eager to incorporate it into a recipe. A creamy, lemony risotto seemed like the perfect fit. Parmesan cheese and lemon are two of the very best complements to asparagus that I can think of, so it’s a total match-made-in-heaven situation. And also, I pretty much look for every excuse to make risotto that I can think of.

Why do I adore making risotto so much? I love that while it requires vigilance and a little bit of time, I also find it to be a relaxed, easeful, almost ritualistic endeavor. As I stand watch over the risotto, intuiting when it’s time to ladle in more stock, to stir, I’m given an opportunity to slow down and truly be present to a beautiful culinary moment. And it doesn’t hurt that this beautiful culinary moment is slow enough in unfurling that I also have time to savor a glass of wine and catch up on DVR’ed shows – most recently, the latest two episodes of Girls! – while it’s doing it’s thing.

Spicy Avocado Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Spicy Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries 1

Spicy Avocado Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries, you are my new favorite! XOXOXO

Have you ever found yourself in a love affair with a food that you were previously all like “meh” about? That pretty much sums up my relationship with ground turkey. I once scoffed at it as a subpar substitute for ground beef and all its flavorful, red-meaty, fat-saturated goodness. Because I love to eat clean, but red meat and I are like this! My loyalty to it is fierce. We are bonded together in a Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque pact.

I could seriously be on the vegan+red-meat diet, if that were a thing. Just me, fruits, veggies, and a ribeye steak from an ethically-raised cow – YUMMM. Ground turkey wouldn’t have been invited to our island before my recent revelation.

Then I visited Detroit restaurant Central Kitchen and Bar (an experience highlighted in this post on my other blog, 100 Places in the D), where its blackened turkey burger invoked me. I mean, a turkey burger coated in blackening seasoning and topped with avocado, sweet peppers, and muenster cheese was not your typical humdrum turkey burger. I needed to keep an open mind and give ground turkey another try, right?

Spicy Chickpea Tacos

 

Spicy Chickpea Tacos 1

TGIF, all! To celebrate the glorious forthcoming weekend, I’ve got this Spicy Chickpea Tacos recipe for ya!!!

I know Taco Tuesdays are all the rage – and for good reason. Tacos are AWESOME, and Tuesdays deserve to be spiced up. I mean, “Party Animal” wasn’t the moniker that immediately came to mind for me around that day of the week before Taco Tuesday became a thing, but now I’m all like, “Tuesdays, you’re so crazy!” Still, I like the idea of tacos being a Friday food, because in my mind they are a celebratory food, and Friday is a celebratory day for me on account of it means a two-day break from my cube-rat corporate day-job existence (who feels me???). So I hereby denote these Spicy Chickpea Tacos an Honorary Friday Food. [Cue the confetti!!!]

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Strawberry Arugala Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette 1

Happy Monday, all! Today we have another recipe for a simple, flavorful salad. Drumroll please for: Strawberry Arugula Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette!

OK, so this salad sounds sups fancy because it has ingredients much more exotic than the stereotypical wah-wah iceburg salad with its watery leaves and cucumber and tomatoes and croutons and ranch. I mean, for one, it’s got a dressing that contains the juice of blood oranges.

Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Fresh Thyme

Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Fresh Thyme 1

It’s time for another cozy, yummy comfort food that will make your tummy feel like it’s wrapped in a warm blanket of love and deliciousness! Say hello to Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Fresh Thyme!

I’ll never turn down a bowl of hearty soup. It’s one of my favorite food categories ever, right up there with nachos, caprese salads, and anything containing unsweetened raw cacao. So even though the weather here in Metro-Detroit has been absolutely stunning the past week, with multiple blue-skied, sunny days, temperatures in the upper 50s and 60s(!), and spring feels despite it being February, I’m still digging this filling, traditionally cold-weather soup. It’s hard not to with its rich cream base, savory bacon bits, plentiful potato chunks, and plethora of spices including fresh thyme, which is pretty much one of my favorite things right now on account of it’s so lovely.

Fennel, Cranberry, and Mint Kale Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette

Fennel, Cranberry, and Mint Kale Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette 1I find comfort foods are critical during these chilly, gloomy winter months in boosting my morale – but so are fresh fruits and vegetables. They remind me that sunnier days are coming! That’s why I love this Fennel, Cranberry, and Mint Kale Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette recipe!

This dish feels like the quintessential winter salad to me. It contains hearty, seasonal elements: fennel, cranberries, oranges. It’s brightly colored and full of vibrant flavor, helping to ease the winter blahs. And the mint adds a freshness that makes spring feel THA T much closer.

Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Veggie Soup

Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Veggie Soup 1

Today I have a recipe that’s going to up the cozy factor in your life. Say hello to Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Veggie Soup!

February is most definitely a time for ultra coziness here in Michigan. We are deep in the throes of winter and weeks and weeks of gray and gloom, so I’ll take all of the warm-fuzzies I can get!

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pine Nut Risotto with Fresh Sage

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pinenut Risotto with Fresh Sage 1 Hello, all! I’m all about promoting healthy eating, but sometimes, we need a treat, right? That’s why I’m sharing this recipe for Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Pine Nut Risotto with Fresh Sage with you today!

Really, this recipe is quite healthful in the scheme of things because it incorporates whole ingredients, instead of baddie processed ones. I am huge on the philosophy of whole-foods-based eating (eating meals that incorporate ingredients with natural sources, rather than processed ingredients). I believe it’s much more important than eating low-calorie. So while this risotto probably isn’t exactly low-calorie, it’s clean. Yeah, clean eats!