I might have a problem: I might be a little sriracha-obsessed. That bottle up there? I bought it last week and it’s already almond have gone. I’ve been finding ways to sneak it into things left and right. When I originally came up with the idea for this salad, I envisioned a creamy avocado-lime dressing. You see how that turned out, right? No avocado in sight; instead, I dressed it with a spicy mixture of yogurt, sriracha, and lime juice. And I don’t regret it for a second, because the dressing kind of made the salad.
Last Saturday I went a little overboard at lunch (I had a craving for a gooey cheese quesadilla that I needed to satisfy!), so I wanted to make something a little lighter for dinner to balance it out. I wandered around Shop Rite without much of a plan, just pulling whatever healthy ingredients sounded appetizing into my cart. I ended up making an easy carrot, quinoa, and pistachio salad. I served the salad with pita bread and baba ganoush, for a simple, yet very satisfying meal.
I’m not usually a fan of almonds (or walnuts) but I’ve been sneaking handfulls of these sweet and spicy almonds all weekend. They’re totally addictive! The almonds are coated with a thick, crunch layer of caramelized brown sugar and cinnamon, with a hint of spicy cayenne – so, so, so good. They’re also ridiculously easy to make… which could be dangerous!
When you go out to eat, do you ever get into a rut where you always order the same thing? I’m definitely guilty of that – especially at the City Beer Hall. We eat there relatively frequently, and I almost always get the 518 burger, which I’ve deemed the best burger in town.* The last time we went though, I was craving something a little healthier and ended up getting the kale salad.
It was love at first bite and I couldn’t shut up about how delicious it was. I was still thinking about it days (and weeks) later and knew that I’d have to try making it myself.
I’m back with more Brussels sprouts! I just can’t get enough – I can already tell that they’re going to be my favorite vegetable of the season this year. This time, I prepared them as a raw salad tossed with bacon, hazelnuts, and a maple-dijon vinaigrette.
The first time I ever tried (or even heard of) eating brussels sprouts as a salad was last year when I reviewed the power foods cook book. (It’s still one of my favorites, you can see my review here.) Eating them raw might seem odd at first, but it totally works. They’ll be a little crunchy at first, but the vinegar in the dressing will help soften them up after a few minutes. In the end, the effect isn’t unlike coleslaw – which makes sense considering brussels sprouts are basically tiny cabbages. See? Not that weird.
I’m not typically a fan of spinach salads, but this one is different – and I’m obsessed! To make it, you sautée onions and the throw the spinach into the hot pan. The heat from the pan gently wilts the spinach just enough to soften it up a little and take some of the bitter edge off it. Then it all gets tossed with toasted pecans and crumbled goat cheese. The contrast between the sweet onions, crunchy pecans, and creamy goat cheese (which melts a little from the residual heat) is amazing!