Strawberry Tomato Mozzarella Salad

20150525_195633

I felt like Adam Sandler in Billy Madison when he tells his first-grade teacher, Miss Lippy, why he colored a blue duck: “I made the duck blue because I’d never seen a blue duck before and I wanted to see one.” Yeah, that’s a random allusion, but it is so stuck in my head in connection with this salad!

Sausage and Red Bell Pepper Polenta Cassesrole

20150523_130330

Polenta always reminds me of my Croatian grandfather because he ate it all the time – topped with rabbit stew or something else of old-country ilk. I wonder if he would’ve liked this sausage and red bell pepper casserole?

Baked Pears with Lavender, Lemon, and Honey Glaze

20150517_201831

I’ve always wanted to try cooking with lavender, and I’ve always wanted to make baked pears, so that’s pretty much the origin story behind this recipe. Man, cooking with lavender – not exactly for the faint of heart. That stuff is potent!

Mozzarella and Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip

20150516_170638

Eating this mozzarella and roasted garlic white bean dip is like jumping into a vat of cheesy-gooey-garlicky deliciousness that you never want to leave.

Spicy Spinach and Mozzarella Pasta Bake

 

20150509_223855

My mom was the inspiration behind this pasta bake (hi, Mom!). She was telling me the other day about this quick lasagna she made using premade spinach ravioli, and I thought, hmmm, I can do a whole-eating upgrade on that!

Garlic-Thyme Pork Chops with Dill Mashed Potatoes

 

20150508_213805

This recipe came out of a fail.

Mint Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

 

20150503_174843

Chia seeds are pretty much amazing. How are such teensy little things jam-packed with so much fiber, antioxidants, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids? That I don’t know, but what I do know is that chia seed pudding is one of the best guilt-free desserts I’ve ever eaten.

Bell Pepper and Refried-Bean Tacos

 

20150427_204519

Sometimes you just need simple. And simple is what I need this week – it’s an insane one for me! So I’ll be subsisting off easy-but-healthy meals like these bell pepper and refried-bean tacos.

Italian Farro with Sausage, Grape Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts and Garlic-Sauteed Rapini

 

20150426_184948

After creating my Pine Nut and Parsley Pesto with Grape Tomatoes and Italian Farro recipe a few weeks ago, I was anxious to create another dish using this chewy, pasta-like grain. I also had just picked up a few cartons of some lovely grape tomatoes at my favorite Italian market and was really, really excited to use them (tomato season is here again – yay!). So I created this Italian Farro with Sausage, Grape Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts recipe.

White Bean and Fresh Thyme Hummus

 

20150424_181721

This white bean and fresh thyme hummus makes the perfect appetizer to bring to a spring soiree. It’s easy to make and incredibly addictive.