Tag Archive for 'salad'

Shredded Beet & Toasted Sesame Salad- The RAW deal

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I think you know that I’m infatuated with the raw food concept. And while that may sound like an odd concept, on some level we all like raw. Summer is the ‘raw’ Mecca as home gardens and farmer’s markets bust with succulent fruits waiting to burst with sweet juices, fragrant with a lovely floral scent. But let’s be honest, I am not just talking about eating fruits raw, and while I don’t believe I am a full fledged contingent of the growing raw-food advocates group I am enjoying dabbling in it. Do I believe that raw food has more nutrients? Continue reading ‘Shredded Beet & Toasted Sesame Salad- The RAW deal’

Grapefruit & Greens Ya-Yas Salad

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There are times when you think you find a friend because you believe that they need your help or support. Other times, without you realizing it, that same friend switches places with you and you suddenly realize that despite what you initially thought, they really found you. Audrey was one of those friends. While we became friends without a formal introduction from our common connection, in a most unconventional way, somehow it just worked. A friendship surfaced despite either of us really knowing much about the other. Continue reading ‘Grapefruit & Greens Ya-Yas Salad’

Valentine’s Day Pickled Eggs and Beets

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Eggs are one of those sustenance foods that are riddled with meaning and used frequently for analogies. For example, trust is often compared to a delicate egg. Once broken, it cannot be easily repaired. Eggs can also symbolize Continue reading ‘Valentine’s Day Pickled Eggs and Beets’

Brussels Sprouts Persimmon & Pomegranate Mustard Salad

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Three years ago I would have sworn to you that yoga was just not my thing. Over the years I had tried a class here or there but the thought of getting me to sit still for extended periods of time seemed impossible. My mind was always racing in a million directions. Continue reading ‘Brussels Sprouts Persimmon & Pomegranate Mustard Salad’

Insalata Caprese

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Living in Northern California, with a generally moderate climate, I do feel spoiled by the constant flurry of good fresh foods I have access to. While I am cognoscente of it, I have an indulginest attitude. Ergo- I am lucky, I am appreciative, and I enjoy every opportunity to partake in the available local bounty. This time of year the bounty is abundant with the most succulent tomatoes and fresh herbs.

Good produce makes for great food. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a great cook to prepare delicious food. What you need is Continue reading ‘Insalata Caprese’

Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

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Eight weeks ago I had my first hand surgery and six weeks post surgery I practically made this pesto pasta salad myself. It was a simple and yet significant task, as it was like getting back up on the horse that threw me. I’ve often times told family and friends over the past few weeks that while I know I was lucky not to have injured my dominant hand (AKA my right hand), I am in no way a one-handed individual. I have learned to adapt to my situation at an exhausting pace – and my milestones have included saying things like, “I can put my hair in a pony tail!”

No gift of accomplishment goes unnoticed. Continue reading ‘Summer Pesto Pasta Salad’

Buffalo Mozzarella & Eggplant Caprese Tower with Pea Mint Pesto

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I’ve always loved good foods- I can’t say that all of these fit into the ‘healthy’ category but for dietary reasons I have avoided packaged processed foods whenever possible. I determined early on that I don’t enjoy eating foods that are over salted, contain too much garlic, are made with high fructose corn syrup or preservatives. I cannot claim to be a health fanatic, nor a vegetarian, although I tend to dabble in both. I will shamelessly eat any homemade baked good that catches my eye. But if I had to put a label on myself, I would say that the word that describes me is “qualitarian”. Continue reading ‘Buffalo Mozzarella & Eggplant Caprese Tower with Pea Mint Pesto’

Chickpea, Parmesan & Fennel Salad


Over a year ago Jennifer Perillo (AKA Jennie) came out to California to visit with her two daughters. Aside from the fact that we had a wonderful and memorable time together exploring the Marin Farmer’s Market and the City by way cable cars something really exciting happened. Jennie received a very important call – she had a book deal! In some small way my clock started ticking from that day forward. And as I proudly hold her book in my hands I can feel all of the hard work she put into “Homemade With Love”. I know what it takes to create a cookbook and how much of yourself you pour into this type of passion project. It is a wonderful accomplishment to her ability to dream coupled with her determination to see it to fruition. I am honored to be able to participate in this virtual pot-luck in support of my good friend Jennie and to be participating along with so many other wonderful foodies I admire.

There are so many wonderful recipes I’ve read >um, drooled over< and made from Jennifer Perillo’s new cookbook that the most difficult task was deciding which recipe to share. I’ll be honest the Deep Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, Clementine Pistachio Crumb Muffins, Lentil Ricotta “Meatballs”, Pot of Mussels….you get the idea…were ALL in the running for my blog vote. I could list the entire book but I felt tempted with each page I turned to try another recipe.

I ultimately selected the Chickpea, Parmesan & Fennel Salad recipe because it was the very first one I tried and it really underscored for me the simple, fresh, and delicious flavors that is so true to Jennie’s cooking style. My entire family enjoyed this salad and I woke up thinking about it the next day, eager to prepare it for friends.

This recipe takes hardly any time to pull together and it is one that is guaranteed to impress.

Homemade with Love- Jennifer Perillo

Chickpea, Parmesan & Fennel Salad


1 TBS apple cider vinegar

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

sea salt

pepper, fresh ground

1/2 bulb of fennel, thickly sliced

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, torn into pieces

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp lemon, zested

(my addition to this recipe)


In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and lemon juice until well combined. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fennel, chickpeas, parsley, and cheese to the bowl. Toss together to combine.

To serve, spoon the salad onto a large platter, and sprinkle the almonds on top. If using, add lemon zest.

Time saver- The salad can be prepared up to an hour in advance. Allow to sit at room temperature, and it will marinade in the juices. Wait to add the almonds until serving so that they remain crunchy.



Graciously reprinted with permission from Jennifer Perillo and Running Press.

Need more of Jennie’s food?…you can buy her book on Amazon and you can check out these other great posts!

Flexing my Mussels in Jennie’s Kitchen from Ilina from Dirt and Noise

Food and Friends from Selfish MomBaking with my Kids from Homemade with Love from Selfish Mom

Easy and Delicious from Homemade with Love from Selfish Mom

Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta and Slow Roasted Tomatoes from Chefdruck: French Foodie Mom

Dude, I Made the Best Pizza Last Night from Kim of House of Prince

Food is Delicious When It’s Homemade from Kim of Hormone Colored Days

Homemade with Love from Jessica of Momma’s Gone City

Homemade with Love Lunch with Jennie from Toni of Food Just Sayin’

One of the photos from my Jennie archives…some other wonderful bloggers you might recognize: French Foodie Mom (Vanessa Druckman) and Savory Sweet Life (Alice Currah).

foodie blog girls

Lentil, Mint and Feta Salad

While I *thought* I was going to return to blogging when I last hit the publish button (circa July 2, 2012), life sometimes has its own idea of what you *will* be doing (ergo, things do not always go according to plan). I will resist sharing the specifics because the reasons are too numerous, however I can tell you that I’ve truly missed blogging. Since my life has been anything but simple, in an attempt to balance my reality, I find that often times it is a simple dish, prepared well, that allows me to achieve balance and enables us to reconnect here …in one of my FAVORITE spaces.

I recently shared this dish with my friend Holly and she raved it was one that she would like to make sometime soon. Between the two of us we nearly polished off the entire bowl. It was just that good.

Lentil, Mint and Feta Salad


1 cup lentils, rinsed

6 cups water

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1 bay leaf

5 TBS olive oil

3 TBS white wine vinegar

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 large shallot, minced

1/2 cup (2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled

1 small lime, juiced


Place lentils and 1 tsp salt in bowl. Cover with 4 cups warm water and soak for 1 hour. Drain well. At this point lentils can be kept in fridge for up to two days before cooking.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Place lentils, 2 cups water, bay leaf, broth, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt in medium saucepan (or 8-1/2 x 11 baking dish). Cover and bake until lentils are tender but remain intact. Approximate cook time is 40-60 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool until warm.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar.

Drain lentils well, remove bay leaf. Add drained lentils, feta, olives, mint, salt, pepper and lime to dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with a bit of feta cheese before serving.


Mango Coconut Salad

Mangos are such a lovely fruit to pair with salad greens, and the nutty crunch of the coconut gives this simple salad just enough texture to be flavorful without having a dry texture. This dish is an easy addition to a summer BBQ or is lovely as a stand-alone lunch plate. To turn this salad into an entree add some chicken, cooked prawns, or scallops. You shouldn’t feel guilty that this meal will take you all of 15 minutes to pull together. A tavola!

Mango Coconut Salad & Citrus Vinaigrette

Salad Ingredients

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (either use champagne or red blush mangos)

4 cup mixed greens, washed and dried

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Citrus Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/2 cup freshly squeezed citrus (blood oranges, oranges, limes etc.)

1/2 shallot, minced

2 TBS Champagne vinegar

2 tsps extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Salad & Dressing Assembly Directions

Prepare the vinaigrette: Place citrus juice, shallots, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Let shallots macerate for 30 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil.

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add in the coconut and stir until golden brown and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Let cool.

In a large salad bowl, toss together lettuces, mango and the citrus vinaigrette. Taste and adjust salt and pepper seasonings. Garnish with toasted coconut. Serve immediately.

Note: To turn this into an entree top chicken or fish.

Serves 2.