Archive of ‘evening’ category

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!

 

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!

 

Trista’s Bean Soup

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Our dear friends Todd and Trista had us over the other night for amazing fish tacos and her incredible (not) bean soup, bean soup. She swears this is not bean soup, but as her husband said… “If it looks like bean soup, and it smells like bean soup and it taste like bean soup, then its bean soup.” Agree. In any case this is crazy easy and amazingly delicious!!!

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It can be served as a light dinner or a fantastic side to any main course. The following recipe is for a large crowd (maybe 10) so half the recipe if your making it for just a few. I added a little Mexican cheese blend on top of the soup for this little photo shoot but I do not recommend that when serving. Trista adds a smoked mozzarella that just makes this soup! See below.

Ingredients

8 cans of organic black beans
1 large jar of green salsa (or 2 small jars)
3 teaspoons of crushed garlic
shredded smoked mozzarella (trader joes) (I used the whole little log, also, smoked gruyere works great too)
salt to taste

Instructions

Puree the black beans with an emersion hand blender (or in the blender). Add the large jar of green salsa, minced garlic and salt. Heat over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Shred the mozzarella and mix into soup before serving. We served ours with sour cream, lime wedges and tortilla chips.

 

DD Wraps a.k.a. taco wrap with cauli-rice

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My dear friend Dar loves loves loves lettuce wraps. As Rob and I were assembling this delicious dinner I could not get her off my mind. So we called them the “DD wraps” in honor of our lovely friend, Dar. She is refreshing and and light and amazing… just like these wraps.

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Full of color and flavor… not to mention a HOST of nutrients! Dig in!

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Ingredients

1 lb of ground organic turkey
1 packet of trader joes taco seasoning (or any taco seasoning)
1 (32 oz) can of tomato sauce (OR use the pizza sauce recipe from previous post…using a little less honey… in my personal opinion… this makes this dish exceptional! And only takes about five more minutes)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 head of cauliflower
1 tomato, chopped (optional)
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 jar of corn salsa (trader joes)
1 avocado
sour cream (optional)

Instructions

Grind the cauliflower into (for a how to, click here) cauliRICE. (This can be done the day before or morning of to save time. Just keep in a bowl, covered in the refrigerator.)

Use half the chopped onion and 1 teaspoon garlic, sauteing for about 5 minutes (you can use oil if using a non-stick pan).

Then add the cauliRICE with half a packet of taco seasoning (should be about 2 tablespoons worth of seasoning) and saute for another 5 minutes.

Add about 1 1/2 -2 cups of tomato sauce to the cauliRICE, stir, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir again, and simmer for remaining 5 minutes. (Total 20 minutes in the pan). You can eye it here… if you prefer it to be softer, give it a little more time. This is pretty hard to mess up. My kind of dish!

Meanwhile, saute the rest of the yellow onion in a separate pan until soft.

Add the ground organic turkey and the remaining half packet of taco seasoning, and cook until browned (about 5 minutes)

Add the remainder of tomato sauce (about 2 cups worth) and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Rinse the lettuce leaves and make “cups” out of the lettuce (you cant be a perfectionist here).

Add cauliRICE, top with ground turkey. Add corn salsa, avocado and organic sour cream (if you are not dairy free, the sour cream adds an amazing touch to these tacos.) Enjoy!

 

Side note: You can prepare the cauliRICE and ground organic turkey the day before, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve the next day with very little time and prep. This is a great option for a dinner party.

cauliflower “rice” and curried chicken

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“CauliRICE”… Confession – I did not want to make this dish. I love rice. White rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, I love it all. Why in the world would you want to change something that is perfect? Well, on days when you want to eat a few less carbs or rather, add in a few more vegetables this is the meal for you! Surprisingly, VERY surprisingly, this “cauliRICE” taste delicious. We were not afraid to add coconut milk, curry spices and a generous squeeze of lime juice but in the end, we had a delicious, healthy meal. I feel it my duty to forewarn you. As you begin to grind up the cauliflower, it stinks…something fierce. Like the kind where Rob and I looked at each other at the same time and said with our eyes “It wasn’t me!” Yep, that bad. I used room spray after I made it. But worth it! The smell lessons as you begin to cook it so hold your nose and give it a try!

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You do not need a fancy kitchen tool to make this happen. The blender works just fine. I used our vita mix on the lowest speed, doing small batches so as not to make cauliMASH and it worked. That was after grating half the head of cauliflower by hand with a cheese grader. Sigh. You learn.

Ingredients

2 organic chicken breast, cut into strips
1 head of cauliflower
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion (any amount really, just for flavor)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup of coconut milk (I used trader joes light coconut milk from the can)
2 tablespoon curry powder
juice of a lime
2 teaspoons honey
salt & pepper
cilantro (optional)
cashews (optional)
lime wedges for serving

Instructions

Mix 1/3 cup coconut milk with 1 tablespoon curry powder. Whisk together, add strips of uncooked chicken breast. Let marinate for 30 minutes or longer.
Grind the cauliflower in the blender or food processor until it resembles rice.
Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet. Add onions, 5 minutes.
Add the cauliRICE and saute for another 5 minutes.
Pour in coconut milk, lime juice, honey and salt & pepper, stir.
Let cook for about 15 minutes. You can taste the “rice” and see if it needs a little more of something otherwise, cook until softened. While the rice is cooking, saute the marinated chicken in a small pan over medium heat.
Plate the “rice” add chopped cilantro and cashews, top with chicken. Add a wedge of lime.

 

This dish takes very little time to make if you pre shred the cauliflower and marinate the chicken before hand. Also, we used the thai cashews from trader joe’s and they were delicious! They add a great kick and nice crunch!

*This recipe was inspired by Danielle Walker’s “Coconut-lime Rice” from her cookbook Against All Grain. Check it out!

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