August 2014 archive

august a.k.a. organic veggie bowl

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Introducing my most favorite dish to assemble – August. Isn’t she lovely. My mom inspired me to make this gorgeous veggie bowl.

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She was served something like this (on a much smaller scale) at a restaurant in Arizona. She snapped a shot to send to me and waa laa … August was born. We went with all organic veggies but obviously that is a personal choice, choose what fits your lifestyle best. It was a blast to assemble, I know you will have fun too!

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Ingredients

Green leaf lettuce of any kind (for deco along the rim of your bowl or eats)
broccoli
cauliflower
corn on the cob (raw – its delicious!)
radish (I used Easter radish – gorgeous purples and pinks)
multicolored carrots
red and yellow bell pepper
cherry tomatoes
sugar snap peas
cucumber
ranch/tzatziki(took about 5 minutes for me to spell that)/or any other veggie dip that you prefer

Instructions

As seen in the picture, display the veggies from large to small, or honestly – just do it messy – its gorgeous that way too! There is no wrong way. I did not give measurements because it really just depends how many people you are making this appetizer for. Have fun and enjoy your veggies!

 

Light Chicken Salad

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Rob and I love this light chicken salad recipe because it allows for use of the rest of your rotisserie chicken. If you buy a rotisserie chicken you can usually get a few meals out of it. Remember the “Joya Salad“, we used one breast of chicken to feed 2-4 (along with all the other fabulous and filling ingredients in that salad) and then used the remainder of the white meat for this delicious chicken salad recipe. It makes for a quick lunch or dinner in the form of a sandwich, lettuce wraps or stuffed in pita bread!

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Ingredients

Chicken breast and thigh meat, cut into small cubes
3/4 fuji apple, cubed
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds (honey roast from trader joes are fabulous!)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
touch of honey
salt
pepper

Instructions

Combine the chicken, apple, red onion and almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk mayo, dijon, honey, salt and pepper together. Stir into chicken mixture until well combined. It will be on the dryer side. You can of course always add more mayo if thats your thing! Hope you enjoy!

 

watermelon ‘salad’

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This delicious side is a little too simple to call a “recipe” or even a salad… but it’s fantastic and worth posting. We have been enjoying this in the late afternoons when we need a light and refreshing snack.

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Ingredients

1/2 watermelon, chopped (check out this youtube clip on how to chop a watermelon!)
6 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
juice of one lemon
squirt of honey
dash of salt

Instructions

Chop the watermelon, toss in the feta cheese and add the chopped mint leaves. Right before serving drizzle the lemon and honey concoction. Enjoy!

 

health{ier} chocolate chip cookies. dairy and gluten free

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Chocolate chip cookies. Is there anything better? Well before I share this awesome dairy free, {vegan}, gluten-free recipe with you… I wanted to share a thought I had while making these delicious bites. If your not a close friend, or don’t care, go ahead and stroll down to the bottom for the recipe.

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Staging these cookies on gorgeous cake stands reminded me of a funny exchange of texts I had with a dear friend recently. Mother of four, she text me one night “what are you doing?” I text “sitting by candle light, listening to silence” she replied “ugh. I wish I were doing that.” I responded with “ha, well what are you doing?” Humorously she goes on to explain how she is watching her four kids perform skits, loud singing, costumes strung across the floor, chaos, she explains. And of course, I respond with “ugh, I wish I were doing that.” We learned something that night. Here we were, each of us, experiencing magical moments in life and we were tempted, dare I say, engaging with the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality. It is way too easy to look at someone else’s life and think “lucky”. But what if you were right where you were suppose to be tonight?

As I was making these cookies, listening to Adel, anticipating a lovely quiet date night at home with my honey I was struggling with thoughts like, “I wish I were so tired from being up all night with a baby that I had no energy to bake”. For the first time in my life I kinda wish I couldn’t fit into my jeans, because maybe that would mean there were a little life that was both Rob and I combined. But instead, I am in the kitchen with lipstick on, listening to Adel, about to enjoy a beverage and a quiet relaxing evening with my husband. I vulnerably share this with you because I don’t want this food blog to ever promote jealousy. If you look at these gorgeous pictures, just remember, they are just pictures. They never show you the pile of dishes in my sink or my frizzy bun on top of my head. (Your welcome) They just show you one moment of our day. Our perfect day filled with ups and downs just like everyone else. For my dear single friends, I remember thinking, “When I have a husband, then I wont want anything in the world! I will be so happy that this world won’t be able to contain my contentment.” Sigh. Ya. Well once again I am faced with the reality of human nature, that is, you always want more. So all of this to say, if your reading this and you have baby diapers falling out of the diaper genie, or maybe blocks are all over your hardwood floors or maybe your alone, room mates in the other room or out on a date. Maybe your sitting next to your husband and the house is eerily quiet… In whatever season of life you find your self in, I hope you can enjoy it. It is just a season. Not forever. A gift.

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Health{ier} chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

1 cup oat flour (if you do not have this, you can of course grind gluten free oatmeal until it resembles flour)
1/2 cup gluten free flour (I “invested” in a bag of ‘cup for cup’ gluten free flour and its incredible! Quiet the investment however)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar in the raw plus 2 teaspoons (love the texture the larger sugar granules added to the cookies!)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chip (vegan chocolate chips allows this to be completely dairy free!)
2 tablespoons canola oil
4-5 tablespoons rice milk

Instructions

Mix dry ingredients together, add oil and milk. Add chocolate chips.
Bake at 375 for about 8 minutes.
Enjoy!

 

the ‘Joya’ salad a.k.a. the chic cobb salad

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This is one of Rob and I’s most favorite salads. It is beautiful, sophisticated and yet shockingly filling. I love the asparagus and egg combo and the salty pistachios pair beautifully with the avocado. We named this elegant salad after the chic miss joys rose (soon to be Mrs. Groves, which we could not be more thrilled about!) She is as down to earth as one can be, while all the while capturing your heart with her own humble charm. She is lovely and present and just so satisfying to be with. We hope you can enjoy this salad with someone as inspiring as she!

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My love and his amazing photography skills… I had to post a few extra. Thank you Natalie for the lovely floral arrangements. They made this meal feel a bit more Parisian, which you know I love.

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The cherry tomatoes give this dish a burst of color. We love rotisserie chicken, it adds such fantastic flavor, is easy to use and we had plenty left over, which allowed for another easy meal. Stay tuned for what the other half of this bird created for the Wang’s this week.

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Ingredients

mixed green lettuce
1 breast, shredded of rotisserie chicken (whole foods has organic rotisserie chicken)
5 spears asparagus, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup toasted, salted pistachios
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved

For the Dressing:
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
dash of garlic powder
dash of sea salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
touch of black pepper

Instructions

Add all ingredients in a salad bowl (reserving the rest of your rotisserie chicken for other meals!)
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk. Toss the salad before serving! Enjoy!