Tag Archives: healthy

POACHED PEAR SALAD WITH PINOT NOIR VINAIGRETTE

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Ohh man, this salad. I just ate this salad, right before I wrote this blog post. It was seriously delicious.

To be truthful, this is a little more involved than the average dinner salad. It’s not difficult, but there’s more steps. That’s where all the flavor comes from! Flavor building steps.

Even so, it’s not difficult. Beautiful autumn pears are peeled and tossed into a bath of warm, sweet, spiced red wine. I used Pinot Noir, but you can use whatever red you have on hand. They cook down for about a half hour, but this step can be done way in advance of plating your salads.
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We’re not done with the wine after the pear-wine pool party. I take using wine for uses other than consumption seriously, and waste as little as possible. I suppose it’s a principle residual from college.

We reduce that wine down and use it as the base for the perfectly complimentary dressing for this salad. Done and done.

Sweet pears with a hint of red wine pair with tangy blue cheese like you wouldn’t believe. This is a really classic pairing, and if you haven’t tried it before this is the perfect place to start.
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This is a perfect salad to have before a really easy main dish. We had it while some pre-seasoned salmon baked in the oven.

It’s also the perfect thing to bring to a friend’s house for dinner as your contribution to the meal. Poach the pears and remove the cores beforehand. Slice the onion and prepare the dressing, then pack it all up and prepare to impress.
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POACHED PEAR SALAD WITH PINOT NOIR VINAIGRETTE

Makes 4 small salads

Ingredients
4 pears, peeled (I used Bosc pears)
1 whole grapefruit
1 1/2 cups red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
4 large handfuls mixed greens
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced shallot
salt and pepper

Instructions
Slice the grapefruit in half. Squeeze the juice from one half into a large sauce pot. Add the red wine, water, sugar, cloves, and allspice berries to the pot. Add the peeled pears and place over medium heat. The pears should be at least half way submerged.

Let the pears simmer in the wine mixture for 30 minutes or until they are fork tender and the outsides turn pink. Stir the mixture and rotate the pears ever 5-10 minutes to keep from burning and to keep them cooking evenly in the wine.

When they are finished, remove the pears to cool on a plate. Raise the heat under the wine mixture and let reduce to at least half, about 15 minutes. Let the reduced wine mixture cool to room temperature.

When ready to plate your salads: squeeze the juice of the remaining grapefruit half into a mixing cup. Remove and seeds and add 1 cup of the reduced red wine mixture, the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and minced shallot.

Arrange four small plates, and to each add: a large handful of mixed greens, 1/4 of the sliced red onion, 2 tbsp. blue cheese, and 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts. Slice each pear in half and use a melon baller or paring knife to remove the core and seeds. Slice into 1/4-inch sliced and lay half a pear on each salad.

Stir the dressing again if it has separated and drizzle over each salad. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy immediately.

BAKED GARLIC FRIES AND HUMMUS

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Today we’re talking comfort food! But not the super heavy, coated in butter and cheese kind. Even though I really love that kind.

This snack is so simple but it means so much to me! When I was in college, I was lucky enough to spend a few years working at an amazing Lebanese restaurant. I learned a ton about food and drink while I was there. I also watched them make the hummus daily…and it made up about a third of my diet.
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The staff spent so many nights sharing food after a crazy shift, and it always included french fries and hummus. A lot of people have never had the two together, but it’s sooo good!

This hummus recipe is not exactly the one from that restaurant, but it’s pretty damn close. The method is also roughly the same. Garlic cloves and salt are broken down into a paste before being added to a food processor. This brings out a little more flavor than just throwing them in whole.
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These fries are similar to the ones I baked for these Disco Fries except way more flavor, most of which is garlic! And I added a little cayenne for some kick. Because I can do whatever I want.

I find baking fries to be a lot less hassle than frying even if it does take a little extra time. And for this snack, you can easily make the garlic while the fries cook. Boom.

This is the best summertime comfort food to me. It’s filling and flavorful but still fairly light. And full of garlic, duh.
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BAKED GARLIC FRIES AND HUMMUS

Ingredients
For the Spicy Garlic Fries:
Makes enough for 2-4 people to share
2 large potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

For the Hummus:
Makes about 4 cups of hummus
2 cans garbanzo beans/chickpeas
4 tsp. tahini
4 large garlic cloves
3 tsp. salt, divided
juice of 3 lemons (about 1/3 cup) strained of any seeds
olive oil, paprika, and fresh parsley for topping

Instructions
First, make the French Fries: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and set aside.

Slice the potatoes into matchsticks about 1/4-1/2 inch wide. Place all the potato sticks in a large mixing bowl, and add the spices, minced garlic, and oil. Use your hands to toss the potatoes with the oil and make sure the spices are evenly distributed. Lay out on the baking sheets in a single level, making sure all the minced garlic makes it onto the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring/flipping once halfway through. After 30 minutes, add the parsley and toss to mix. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, checking periodically to make sure the fries don’t burn.

While the fries bake, make the hummus: add the chickpeas to a colander or fine mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly and discard of any loose shells. Add them to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and 1 tsp. of salt. Process until the beans are completely blended, but still thick.

While the chickpeas grind, add the garlic cloves to a mortar bowl. Mash with a pestle a few times to break the cloves up. Add 1 tsp. of salt and continue to mash until a paste starts to form.

Add the lemon juice and 1 tsp. salt to a measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup with warm water so that the total of your liquid is 1 cup. (If you have exactly 1/3 cup lemon juice, add 2/3 cup water.) Stir to dissolve the salt.

Start the food processor again and slowly stream in the lemon juice and water through the spout. Once you’ve added 2/3 of the mixture, stop the processor. Add the garlic/salt mixture from the mortar bowl. Fill the mortar with the remaining lemon juice and water, and scrape down the sides with the pestle to get any remaining bits of garlic. Pour it all into the food processor, and process the hummus for another minute.

Serve the warm fries alongside the fresh hummus. Store extra hummus in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.

MISO HONEY GLAZED SALMON WITH BRUSSELS SPROUT HASH

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Thirty-minute meals are a beautiful thing. And luckily this one doesn’t involve the word “stoup.”

It may be overstated, but the struggle to pull together an easy, healthy meal that actually tastes good can feels like one that just doesn’t go away. Well, here’s one for your arsenal!

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