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Category: Dinners

Arugula Quinoa Salad with Baked Pears and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Arugula Quinoa Salad with Baked Pears and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette 1

OK, can you BELIEVE that we are already into the THIRD week of the new year? Craziness!

What’s not craziness: this Arugula Quinoa Salad with Baked Pears and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette! It is just plain lovely. But first, I can’t help but muse about the passage of time, and habits, and goals, because they are on my mind a lot lately during this quickly-ensuing January. Maybe they’ve been on your mind, too.

Time really does fly so quickly. The freshness of a new year eventually wears off. New year’s resolutions become less shiny and exciting – and consequently, less enticing to follow. The daily grind wears us down, tempts us to flake out on our goals.

We are all human, and we all slip up on our goals sometimes. I’ve realized that it’s important to remind myself that this is normal. As a recovering perfectionist who was once flat-out rigid in her self-discipline, I have learned the beauty of self-compassion, of giving myself grace when I slip up with habits and goals. The key to overall maintaining challenging endeavors, I have learned, is to remember:

Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Bake

Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Bake 1

Because I couldn’t stop with last week’s Cheesy Cauliflower Spinach Quinoa Pesto Bake, today we have: another quinoa casserole!

I’ve deferred from using the word “casserole” in these recipe titles because of the connotations it has for me. It conjures up images of garish 1950s-era concoctions or dishes swimming in cream-of-chicken soup. OK, cream-based-soups have their place in my heart – I did come of age in the ’90s in the Midwest – but you won’t be seeing them as an ingredient here. We value freshness and the use of whole ingredients here at A Cookable Feast! My philosophy is to include processed foods not as a staple of my diet, but as a sporadic indulgence (I do have a fondness for Cheetos, for instance, but I don’t keep them in the house. However, I’ll gobble them at every barbeque and birthday party they’re set out at).

The Postwar era was a cray-cray time for food here in the U.S., with home-cooked meals often relying heavily on then-newfangled processed ingredients and oft-zany brand-sanctioned recipes (Google “Crazy 1950s recipes,” and you’ll see what I mean – an excellent diversion when you’re rendered useless by post-lunch drowsiness at work). But I’ll take one lesson from that time: as long as a not-repulsive combination of ingredients is used, the casserole is an excellent format for a quick and easy meal.

Cheesy Cauliflower Spinach Quinoa Pesto Bake

Cheesy Cauliflower Spinach Quinoa Pesto Bake 1

Today on the blog we have a dish that combines the healthful (nutrient-packed cauliflower, spinach, and quinoa) with the decadent (homemade pesto). Say hello to Cheesy Cauliflower Spinach Quinoa Pesto Bake!

Crushed Red Lentil Soup

Crushed Red Lentil Soup 1

Hello, all! Happy New Year!!! I hope you had a safe and abundant holiday season full of relaxation, physical and mental recharging, and hopefully lots of cooking and eating of good food.

I’m glad to be back to writing on this blog after an unplanned month-long holiday break. December was a lovely time of connecting with oft-too-little-seen family and friends, enjoying decadent food and drink, and spending more time than usual in my beloved fleece sweatpants. All of the rest, relaxation, and socializing has been great. But I’m ready to get back into the game and give 2017 all that I’ve got!

Tomato, Onion, and Feta Pizza

Tomato, Onion, and Feta Pizza 1

Gilmore Girls, guys.

I know everyone has been talking about Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life online lately. What they are saying, I’m not sure, as I’ve been intentionally avoiding any feedback on the recently-released four-part miniseries because I haven’t finished it yet. I’ve only watched the first two episodes so far. But I’ll be watching the other two tonight!

I became obsessed with the show my junior year of college, when two friends of mine who were Gilmore Girls‘ junkies lent me their DVDs so I could catch up. Between the two of them, they had all six seasons that were released at that time, so I was able to watch the seventh and final season as it aired on TV. Every Tuesday after a long day of class, I would scoot over to one friend’s house near campus to watch it with her and her roommate, who was equally as obsessed as we were. We would sit there enthralled for the hour, then go to one of our favorite bars, The Cabin, for drinks and pizza and post-episode discussion. This was where my friend introduced me to the magical pizza combination of tomato, onion, and feta, for which I’ll be forever grateful!

Tomato, Onion, and Feta Pizza – oh, how I adore thee! Seriously, this pizza is BOMB. The acidity from the tomato, the savoriness of the onion, and the tangy bite of the feta go so well together. Savoring this delightful pizza makes the fact that I pretty much abhorred these first two new episodes of GG go down a little easier.

Creamy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

Creamy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup 1

Hello, all! How are you surviving the increasingly shorter days – you doing OK? I’m speaking to my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, of course. To our friends in the Southern Hemisphere: I hope you are enjoying your summer and all of that gorgeous, brilliant, abundant sunlight! Wave hello to the beach for me.

I, for one, am NOT a fan of the darkness that rules this time of year. If I let it, it will bum me out. Because of this, I’ve been determined since the end of Daylight Savings time to embrace any positive aspects of the longer and longer nights that I can find.

Darkness is . . . cozy. It gives me an excuse to burn candles for hours on end. It gets me to bed earlier, because it feels like stark midnight at six p.m. Looking on the bright side!

And during days when I can’t summon a rosy sentiment about the weakening sunlight, I am hell-bent on wholly distracting myself from it. One majorly reliable way I do that? Making and eating good food, of course! And this Creamy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup is pretty darn good, I must say.

Autumn Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

 

Autumn Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing 1

Hello, all! Happy, happy Friday!

I have been fantasizing about letting myself loaf around the house in solitude this weekend in my fleece sweatpants, binging on the rapidly accumulating glut of recorded TV shows on my DVR. I feel a real need to be lazy, which is not my usual instinct. Generally I’m a run!-go!-create! kind of gal. But I yearn to refill my well: sling some colored pencils on my adult coloring book, get lost in a breezy novel, stare out the window at the brightly colored fall landscape. Snooze with my cat. How good does snoozing with a cat sound???

Fall is good for refilling our energy wells.

Fall is also good for food. I am loving being back to this cozy-weather diet! In the throes of fair summer, that seasonal diet enthralled me; I obsessed over fresh tomatoes, peaches, watermelon, berries, and zucchini, not knowing how I could let go of them. But now I find that my tastes have shifted naturally back to root vegetables, squash, hearty soups, and food that is generally richer and more satiating. That propensity toward heavier fare inspired this salad’s creamy Parmesan dressing.

Black Bean Garden Soup

Black Bean Garden Soup 1

One of the best things about fall being here is that it is finally soup weather again! I love me a good soup!

Blazing sunlight and 90-degree temps didn’t stop me from making it here and there this summer. A need to use the chicken stock gleaned from the carcass of a spent rotisserie chicken was the impetus for the first draft of this Black Bean Garden Soup back in August. My fridge’s contents were fairly sparse that night, so I needed to create a recipe out of what was on hand. Happily, I had the chicken stock, onions, a few jalapeños, some black beans I’d cooked up, the last dregs of a jar of minced garlic, and a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. I didn’t expect much from this cobbled-together soup, but man, did it turn out delicious!

Tomato, Zucchini, and Mozzarella Bake

Tomato, Zucchini, and Mozzarella Bake 1

Hello, all! Happy Monday! And happy October! I am so, so, so ready to start cooking with pumpkin and squash! But today, the million-dollar question today is: do you have any late-harvest zucchini lingering in your crisper? If so, HOORAY! This recipe is for you. And if you don’t have any zucchini lying around and just want to pop out to the store and grab some, believe me, you’ll be happy you did. This Tomato, Zucchini, and Mozzarella Bake is THERE-ARE-NO-WORDS good. Except maybe “amazing” times a million. Or times infinity. Times INFINITY infinity, even.

It’s really F’in good.

Peach, Radish, and Feta Kale Salad

 

Peach, Radish, and Feta Kale Salad 1

Happy fall, everyone! I was mourning summer until the official first day of fall last Thursday; then a flip switched in me. I am LOVING the cooler weather and coziness we are having here in Metro Detroit. It’s that perfect sweet spot where it’s in the low 70s during the day but cool enough at night that I get to break out my fleece sweatpants – YES!!! Fleece sweatpants, I missed you so!!! Who feels me on that one?