Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad

broc salad 2

I’m back! And hopefully I will remain so. Life has been busy but I have missed being on here. This side dish is the perfect healthy accompaniment to all the holiday food surrounding you. Its vibrant colors of red and green make it a festive, crunchy, sweet, tasty treat!

broc salad 1

broccoli salad 3

I am still trying to master the art of removing the seeds from a pomegranate. Do you have any tried and true tricks up your sleeve? The hitting with a wooden spoon method hasn’t been very successful yet. I still tear into it in chunks and remove all the seeds with my fingers…

broc salad 4

broc salad 5

Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad – from Vegetarian Everyday

2 heads of broccoli

1 small red onion (or 1/2 of a large onion) finely minced

seeds of one pomegranate

1 and 1/4 cup of raisins

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 cup plain yogurt

sea salt and pepper

Wash your broccoli and chop into small, bite-sized, pieces. Finley slice the stalk pieces as well. Place in a large bowl along with the finely minced red onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine (I used my hands to mix this, even with the yogurt) add the yogurt and toss again. Mix in the pomegranate seeds last to prevent any from bursting. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and serve! Yum!

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Tri-Color Carrot Salad with Asian Vinaigrette

Hot hot hot. And brutally hot. Not to mention humid. August in Manhattan…..Don’t ever come to Manhattan in August, unless you find enjoyment in slowly melting into a puddle. As I live here I can’t escape, my window unit can though. It picked the hottest day last week to say adios, the battery went bonkers and I am writing this to you with an ice-pack on my shoulders and a little black fan at my feet. Apart from the fact that every night I mentally tick another day off the ‘almost fall countdown’ this salad should bring some summer fun to your table. Light, crisp and bursting with flavor it will accompany any simple dinner with grace and be all the rage at a picnic. And did I mention no oven is needed?

Tri-Color Carrot Salad with Asian Vinaigrette

Large bunch of carrots (any color will work, I used purple, orange, yellow and white)
chopped spring (green) onion
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 tsp white wine vinegar
ground ginger, salt, & pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 a lemon
splash of ginger juice (optional) 
1 tsp dijon mustard

Using a vegetable peeler, peel off outer carrot skins (purple carrots are orange once peeled). Peel or ribbon enough carrots to fill a medium sized bowl. Do this by holding the thick end of the carrot and carefully make long strips with your vegetable peeler. Add chopped green onions to the bowl and set aside. Whisk all other ingredients together for the asian vinaigrette. Adjust seasonings if needed, I added a bit more vinegar to mine some may like a bit more mustard so customize as you like. You will have extra dressing left over. Toss the ribboned carrots with the vinaigrette right before serving.

Would be wonderful topped with sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds if you can muster the courage to turn on your toaster oven.

A cool and lovely summer side dish.

~

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Summer. Summer and Squash Blossoms. They go hand and hand, you can’t look at these bright flowers and not think of warmth and sunshine. I am trying to make the farmers market a Saturday morning ritual…but you have to get there before 10 am or it isn’t worth going (I don’t like having to hurt someone for that last bunch of radishes). With the 4th and traveling I haven’t been since May, crazy, and upon seeing another blogger posting photographs from the union square market I declared my farmers market-free days over. The seasons produce is in full swing. I came home with fresh arugula, basil, sunflower greens, summer onions, blueberries, yellow beets, rattlesnake beans, red currants, carrots, peppers, and on and on and on. AND squash blossoms.

I wanted to keep this simple. I have never cooked with flowers before and first timer ingredients are always a bit scary.

I only purchased 4 large blossoms and had a decent amount of filling leftover. Make a large batch of  filling and either make more stuffed blossoms or save it and spread on bread, sandwiches, or top off salads.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Summer Greens

For the blossoms:
4-10 squash blossoms
1 large clove of garlic, minced
*a few large spoonfuls of soft goat cheese (3-6 tbsp)
6-12 green onions, chopped
pinch of chili flakes
fresh lemon juice
coconut oil, for sautéing 
 
*I used goat cheese with pieces of kalamata olives mixed in. I loved the taste and flavor this particular cheese added. If you cannot find olive goat cheese or do not like olives just use plain goat cheese. Your blossoms will still turn out spectacular and tasty. 
 
Summer Greens Salad
Large handfuls of fresh:
spinach
arugala
sunflower greens
and a little basil if you have it.
 
A Light vinaigrette:
amount will change depending on how many people you are serving. 
roasted walnut oil
white wine vinegar
salt & pepper
 
In a medium sized bowl, mix together goat cheese, green onions and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, a dash of lemon juice, and a pinch of chili flakes. Taste and add more if needed. To prepare the squash blossoms, removed the stem, or baby squash from the end. Carefully remove the stamen or any seeds from the inside of the blossom. Try not to tear the petals though I found it to be inevitable at times. Rinse the blossoms delicatley in cool water and pat dry with a paper towl. with a knife or your fingers, stuff about a tsp of the goat cheese mixture into the bottom of the blossom and twist the top. Once all the blossoms are stuffed heat about 2-tsp to a tbsp of coconut oil in a pan (adjust your oil to the amount of blossoms you are cooking, you just want the bottom of the pan to be evenly coated). When the oil is hot lay the blossoms in the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side. The tips of the blossoms will begin to brown when they are ready to come out. Pat dry with a paper towel if you wish. 
 
Wash and toss salad greens in large bowl. Whisk equal parts roasted walnut oil (any light oil or olive oil will also work) and white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly toss the greens in the vinaigrette and top with cooked squash blossoms. 

This made a magnificent summer meal. As lunch or a light dinner.

I paired mine with smoked salmon and despite all of this New York City heat I was fully enjoying the fact that it’s Summer.

~

Red Cabbage Summer Salad with Roasted Walnut Oil

As rain dances were invented in the hopes of bringing rain, this salad was concocted in the spirit of Spring. May it bring to you warm weather and soon.

I feel sorry for red cabbage. It does not get the glory and honor it deserves. As a child, in my lovely school cafeteria, I would always pick this usually stringy vegetable out of my salad. Why would anyone want this squiggly purple stuff messing up a perfectly good meal of iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing, right?! Even when working as a waitress in college we were instructed to leave it out when preparing salads (bags of it would be included with the lettuce). Where does all the red cabbage of the world go?? Thanks to a new found interest in vegetables of all kinds, and a little lemon zest, I am proud to say red cabbage has found a new place in my heart.

 While walking through my neighborhood market I spotted a box full of these crazy purple orbs. I continued walking by. Stopped. Turned around… and walked back. Don’t you love those moments. They were eye catching, a real beauty. A color so deep, so rich, there is no way they can’t be tasty. Throwing my doubts of cabbage and anything slaw related out the window I put one in the shopping basket. Summer slaw for dinner.

Spring came to New York. It teased us for a few days. A few days. Everyone was outside, flooding the streets and parks, in sun-dresses and sunglasses. Then right as I was settling into the idea of beaches, fruit sorbet, and drinks with cute garnishes the weather plunged back into the 40’s. I refuse to accept this. In rebellion I made this salad. It brings the feeling of summer to your tongue at least! I also am continuing to wear open-toe shoes and no stockings. I am cold and stubborn and hope that, combined with this salad, rays of sunshine grace us once more. I recommend if you still live somewhere with winters chill just trying the salad.

Red Cabbage Summer Salad

zest and juice of one lemon

1 tbsp + 2 tsp roasted walnut oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste – I use pink Himalayan salt

1/2 head chopped red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 green onions chopped, diced

2 large carrots ribboned

sesame seeds

thinly sliced radishes (use as many or few as you like)

In a small bowl add lemon juice, zest and walnut oil. Whisk with a fork and set aside. In a large bowl toss cabbage, carrot ribbons, radish slices and chives. Add dressing and sprinkle in sesame seeds, at least 1 tbsp. Toss. Garnish with lemon slices and sesame seeds and serve immediately! If you are making this ahead of time save the dressing for last. Whisk together the ingredients and toss right before eating, the fresh lemon flavor dulls overnight in the fridge.

Mother’s Orzo

From my mothers table

Everyone is always extra excited for dinner when we know my mother is making her orzo. A very simple and refreshing dish suitable for all varieties of taste-buds.

It is such a comfort to take my favorites from home and enjoy them up here…And to know nobody else will finish leftovers before I get to them myself doesn’t hurt either.

Combining the flavors of sharp salty feta, with crunchy seeds and tart lemon.

I enjoy my orzo topped with hot sauce and this dish is meant to be served warm to chilled.

Mothers Orzo

1lb Orzo cooked in vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)

 1 cup chopped fresh basil

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts (walnuts and sunflower seeds are also very good)

1 bunch green onion, diced

1 bunch chopped fresh spinach (adjust amount to your preference)

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice (can add more if needed)

1/4 cup olive oil (or oil of choice)

salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions in vegetable broth with a little olive oil. Once orzo is ready, drain, then return to pot. Toss with basil, feta, nuts/seeds, green onion, and spinach. In a seperate bowl whisk together olive oil and lemon juice then toss with orzo mixture and season to taste. I end up using a little less oil at times.

Would be a great side dish with Salmon and is also perfect for warmer weather when you’re looking for a chilled dish ~

Refreshing Mexican Salad

Summer is in the air ~

And I am ready. Ready for the colors, the sun, and most of all – the produce. This recipe is a perfect example of how to incorporate all of these things in one dish. The star ingredient in this salad is the lime, it takes the show…I find myself making this dish a lot throughout the winter months to create a small bit of warmth. But no longer will I have to pretend, so put on your short shorts and get ready to refresh your taste buds with this salad!

This recipe is very versatile, what you put in can vary to take advantage of whatever you have on hand.

First off is chopping fresh veggies. I used a yellow and orange bell pepper though next time I would use red and green. The yellow tends to be a bit sweet.

dice onion

Then put the chopped peppers and onion in a large mixing bowl

Drain and rinse beans, three cans of what ever your fancy [black bean, pinto, cannellini, great northern, kidney] and throw in the bowl.

Next is a bag of frozen corn, I usually make this dish within 30 mins of eating and always enjoy how the frozen corn gives that extra chilly factor but canned corn would work just as well. Add large amounts of cilantro and the dressing, then mix and serve, or cover and leave in fridge until ready.

Refreshing Mexican Salad

3 cans of beans [black bean, cannellini, pinto, great northern, kidney] drained and rinsed

2 bell peppers – chopped

1 medium red onion – chopped

1 bag frozen corn

Bunch of cilantro

for the dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tbsp black pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

I recommend tasting as you add the salt and sugar, you may not need all of it.  Then season with hot sauce afterward if desired.

 

Pomegranate~Oat B-fast. a.k.a. Dessert.

This mornings Breakfast was so heavenly it shouldn’t be allowed … or should more often maybe 🙂

Pomegranate~Oats

You better bet I had a frozen banana ready and waiting for this mornings breakfast.  I even put my normal ‘lazi-ness’ aside and removed the soft serve from the blending cup and into a stylish mug.  A result of Saturday I dare say.  This was an amazing combo, the graham crackers were from Trader Joe’s and are a bit thicker then normal ones, which is for the better 🙂

Pomegranate~Oats
4-8 ounces pomegranate kefir [up to you on consistency]
1 frozen banana
splash of vanilla extract
lots of cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cup raw rolled oats
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 cinnamon graham crackers [broken into pieces]
Blend banana with cinnamon and splash of vanilla extract, empty into dish.  Top with kefir, oats, graham cracker pieces, and chia seeds.  Then garnish with a bit of shredded coconut, cacao nibs, and more cinnamon, it is up to you 😉
Mix ~ Enjoy

After running some errands I decided to stop by whole foods.  Again.  I blame this on not having access to one till last month so I’m trying to make up for lost time.  ALSO there are samples galore on the weekends, a college girl on a budgets dream.  Everything from wild caught breaded fish with organic ketchup and raw granola to locally made yogurt and a frozen chili chocolate cheesecake that should be illegal.

After perusing for an hour or so the salad bar lured me to its never ending variety and I ended up coming home with dinner B-)

Mixed greens and spinach….

Roasted Sweet Potato things = God these were good.  Has anyone ever had sweet potatoes that they haven’t liked?

Chili tofu and balsamic tofu

Roasted garlic cloves, edemame, shredded squash and zucchini, some spinach and orzo, some asian cabbage with sesame

Who knew tofu was so camera friendly?

Green and kalamata olives galore ❤

I swear this salad bowl was not the size of China, I have a bad time resisting putting one of everything in there though – crazy combinations result.

Tonight I wanted to try some new booty from my recent grocery trip.

Apple.  Sliced thin and wonderful.

Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter.  I bought some individual packets of this brand because if truth be told…I have way to many open nut butters right now but have never tried Justin’s before.  If only there were sample sized packets like these of everything!  A solo eaters dream…..

Next up was a new Jam.  Having just used up the jar of apricot I purchased Raspberry today.  Probably one of my favorite flavors.  A spoonful on top of 4 oz of brown rice crisp [another of today’s purchases I can’t wait to have fun with] and a splash of pomegranate kefir.  I love to use splash as a measurement… anyways this hit the spot.  I swoon for raspberries of all forms. 🙂

Too much flash

Seeds are always a plus in jam…

Song of the day: “An Honest Mistake” – by The Bravery

One of my favorite songs by them.

And Keep Posted!!! – I will be having a giveaway coming up 😉 so don’t miss out.

Back on the Trail Again

Last night I was in bed around 12!  First time in weeks, so exciting.  8hours sleep was needed to say the least.  I awoke this morning set on my banana spinach pomegranate green monster.  While constructing I discovered I forgot to put a banana in the freezer last night 😮 I ended up using a regular banana and the result was not the same.  It was good, but their is something about the ice cold creaminess of a frozen banana that transforms the drink.  I don’t recommend making this drink without a frozen B-nana.

Topped with lots of Udi’s Artisan Granola.

For recipe on Banana, Spinach, Pomegranate GM see previous post

Growing up my Mom and I loved going to eat at Schlotzski’s Deli.  Their bread is beyond addicting.  Too me it is so different then anywhere else and I am in love.  The only one in my hometown closed down around 8 years ago and I haven’t been to one since.  How I made it this long is still a mystery to me.  When ze boss at work brought up making a field trip to one near by [in atl] I jumped on it.

Say hello to the BBQ chicken pizza with added black olives.

These photos take the cheezi-ness level to an extreme, but I assure you this pizza is a lot smaller then it looks 😉 and a party in your mouth if ever their was one. 🙂

I was released from work early today, and decided to finally get back outside for a real [non gym] run.  I am a swimmer at heart, and that is my usual choice of exercise.  Me and land sports do not mix – bad things almost always follow.  Running is probably the only thing I can do, and even then I bet someone watching me would say my form is somewhere in China. 😮

The last few months this past spring before moving up to Atlanta for the summer I began running a bit with mom.  Around 3 miles 3 mornings a week.  Since moving up here, however, I haven’t run outside due to time and unfamiliarity with my surroundings.  Today I found a park and set to it.  I got in 20 minutes before the sky decided it was time to let the thunder and lightening come out and play, and it was the perfect amount of time 😉  PLUS the incoming storm gave off a lovely cool breeze.

Before the run I snacked on a frozen peanut butter chocolate chip larabar.  This is without a doubt my FAV of the 4 new flavors.  My new favorite way to eat a larabar?    …     Frozen.  My goooodness it’s amazing.

A fellow blogger who I thoroughly enjoy reading, Peas and Thankyou, had a recipe in her post today for homemade chocolate chip cookie dough bars that made my eyes turn the size of dinner plates.  Click here and take a look!  I will have to make these and soon!

Dinner was a trip to the whole foods salad bar.  I drop way too much $ at this place.  But it is a haven for single people with no kitchen, so I keep my mouth shut 😉

Mixed greens and spinach with carrots, noodles, chick peas, steamed broccoli, steamed butternut squash, artichokes, olives, and more goodies I can’t even name.

Has anyone ever been disappointed eating at whole foods??

Song of the day today would be the song:  “Oh Lord” – by Foxy Shazam

I had never heard of this band before seeing them open at a concert 2 years back.  I immediately fell in love with them upon their first song, which I don’t think I’ve been able to say for many other bands.  The live show they put on is pure crazy spectacular.

Well I hope everyone has a good start to their weekend!

Question: What is your favorite Whole Foods item?  Do you have any grudges or dislikes against the store?

Cupcakes, Figs, & Art

Good day!  So I am determined to be in bed before 1 tonight.  Hence I’m writing before dancing.  This is a first.  My mornings as of late have been no fun.  Not sleeping enough = exhaustion which = no desire to make breakfast.  This morning was loose cereal and dried cranberries.  Not a typical start of the day meal, tomorrow will be better!

I have also decided to start doing a ‘song of the day’  A new song everyday, because my favorite song changes from day to day .. at least.  Get ready for some good beats 😀

Today is ‘El Pico’ by RATATAT

Let this song get to the end, thats when it gets really good 😉

I fared much better with lunch, a salad with napa cabbage, arugula, and another green I can’t name 😮 with cherries, figs, and a homemade vinaigrette.  BLISS.

Along with the salad was a sandwich goddess.  A red pepper hummus sandwich on freshly backed olive bread with greens, tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese.  ❤

This bread was loaded with herbs and actual olive pieces.  Talk about love at first sight.

Favorite part of my work day?  Watching old dance competitions from the Lindy Focus event I went to this past winter. I WILL be more productive tomorrow 😛  I am super pumped for some dancing today.  2 days a week is not enough.

WAIT – A forgotten work highlight, if you will.  Someone dropped off cupcakes.  CUPCAKES 🙂  They were pretty cute and the size of your head, literally.

They were very photogenic cupcakes, but their looks were deceiving.  I cut a small piece to try and was dissapointed at the pure sugar [in a bad way] bland taste.  They were nothing special.  S-I-G-H.  So I resolved to just take cute shots of them instead.

I ❤ sprinkles.

Dinner was a hodge podge of snacks.  Popcorn, a stick cheese, some black bean soup and crackers.  I’m ready for real food at home in my kitchen, but it’ll have to wait.  So presently I’m living up the snacks.

I also took pictures of some of the artwork that is downstairs by the lobby.  Thought it was interesting enough to share 😉

I thought these were very bright and colorful.  Love the touches of mixed media.

“Pray for the powerless”

Mixed Media [<3]

These two black and white photographs are huge and hang in the ‘mini’ gym downstairs, so I spend a lot of time looking at them.  They take on a silent beauty after days of staring 😉

Question: Favorite artist or art style anyone?

Razz Soft Serve is a PARTY in My Mouth [!]

Happy Thursday 😉

So for Days now I have been craving some over night oats with soft serve.  To my great delight while preparing the oats last night I found I had only ‘8’ raspberries and a tiny piece of banana in my freezer.  😦      Why does this happen to me?  Frozen bananas are one of things you ALWAYS have on hand no matter what.  You have to throw them away sometimes because thats how many you have building up in there.  Nope, I was down to the bare minimum.  Surprisingly though the small amount of soft serve [the 8 raspberries and piece of banana blended together with a splash of milk] turned out to be enough to go with my oats.  The world is at peace once more.  😀

For my oats I used:

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut milk kefir
dash of salt
lots of cinnamon
1 tbsp chia seeds
some dried cranberries.
topped with shredded coconut and cacao nibs

This was my first time trying the coconut milk kefir and it was mind blowing.  I couldn’t get over it.  If you love coconut this stuff is a drug, a gift from the gods.  It will now be a permanent resident of my refrigerator.  Coconut milk kefir – I love you.  This was also a first for using raspberries in my soft serve, this my friends was a party in my mouth.  Angels were singing as I unscrewed the cup from the blender and I was speechless.  Everything from the smell to the color was amazing.

Needless to say good breakfast.  If you like coconut/raspberries you should try this combo hands down.


For Lunch today I had the pleasure of meeting some family at a restaurant called  R. Thomas.  This Place is so awesome their menu accommodates meat lovers and vegetarians alike!  They also had a few raw options, along with a juice and smoothie menu.  What is not to like?  You eat in this huge tent type structure with crazy colors and lights and plants everywhere!  They even have tons of exotic birds on the side of the restaurant.  Crazy.  I ordered the wild caught seared ahi tuna salad … and of course took a picture half way through eating it.  😉
We also got 3 desserts and split them amongst the 7 of us.  Key lime pie, chocolate peanut butter pie, and my FAV banana chocolate chip cake.  By the time I got my camera out this is what was left B-)

One thing family equals is really good food and lots of it!

This place had these huge mirrors on the ceiling in the bathroom.  Sis and I couldn’t resist.  ❤


After lunch it was back to work, before meeting with the fam again a second and last time for Italian.  I made the mistake of thinking I had enough time to stop at the store beforehand which resulted in a very frantic driving episode.  But I bought more bananas 🙂  The trip was not in vain.  Along with some amazing looking raspberries for more soft serve and peaches and spinach to boot.  The food was really good, there was lots of bread, olive oil, dips, wine and what not passed around before a bowl of mushroom, caramelized onion pasta.  Again late with the pictures, I am getting better.

It was a good time.  Then it was racing off to dance.  Every Monday and Wednesday I do swing dancing for about 3 hours.  Wednesday I have the treat of a live blues/swing band that is great and makes the experience a worth while one, dancing or no.

Do you have a passion that gets you through the day?  For me its dance I live breath and eat it at times 😉