Salads! I love salads! Not because they are a “low-calorie” food because most of mine are not “low-calorie” they are just full of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts and sometimes grains. We hope you find the salads on Choppedandtossed.com to be nothing like the salads your probably thinking about ie: soggy watery lettuce, a big chunk of red onion (the kind where your breath smells the rest of the day because of it), and some fatty store bought, generic dressing. We want to re-create the “wish I didn’t have to “start” with this starter salad” and make something creative and most of all, filling! Rob and I decided that if we wrote a salad cookbook each salad would be named after a different friend or family member because they are the ones who inspire us. The summer squash salad is named after no one because it was a total accident. One of those “four o’clock… shoot better get something on the table” salads. And it worked. Beautifully. If I had an avocado I would have added it in and made this a total hit but hopefully you can do that… either way, its delicious.
You will notice I did not give specifics for how much, that is on purpose… this should be adapted to your personal needs. If you are serving this as a main meal you might want to consider going a little heavier on the squash and nut side or even add chicken. If you do not prefer your salads to be too sweet use a few less dried cranberries. Really, you can make it yours. I generally always use a lot, like, almost too many “toppings” on my salad. But that is just how Rob and I like it. Play around and find what suits your families needs. Remember, to chop everything to fit the fork and thinly slice the onion… really cant stress that one enough. It makes a difference!
*One note on the summer squash or confession, however you want to look at it. I bought mine from whole foods because I was tired and didn’t want to put any effort into it. In their salad section they usually have already roasted (in olive oil with salt and pepper) squash. For about a cup or so it cost a couple dollars. I find it worth it. On less lazy days you can easily grab a bag of already cut but not cooked summer squash from trader joe’s for $2.99 and that is very easy to just cut the bag open across the top, add a little oil, salt & pepper and shake the bag, carefully… and throw that on a pan and roast it that way. Or of course, for those of you who just love getting your hands dirty, you can buy a summer squash, cut it open, bake it, cut it into cubes, then roast again. #notmything
So this is not “worlds best banana bread” BUT it is “worlds best no flour semi healthy banana bread”(including “gluten free” flour). This recipe is an adapted version of another grain free banana bread recipe we came across however, we felt it needed a little less coconut flour (which has a strong taste and texture!) and another banana, hence, the FOUR large bananas. We chose dark chocolate chips (from whole foods… about a buck more than their counterpart… but worth all 100 pennies!) and the dark chocolate chunks (chunks are bigger than chips) gave it the extra kick it needed. In any case, we hope you enjoy this almost awesome banana bread.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 8 1/2-by-4 1/2 inch loaf pan
In a large bowl mix the coconut oil, eggs, honey, vanilla and apple cider vinegar until thoroughly mixed.
Sift the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt. Then add into wet ingredients.
Mash the bananas with the coconut milk then add to batter.
Stir in chocolate chips or preferred add-in.
Bake 40-45 minutes. Cool and serve.
“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!
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.
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!
There are few dinners that help you dive into summer more than the BBQ. So we did just that, we dove in…we are kicking summer off with grilled chicken salads. Simple and delicious.
The secret is in the marinate and unfortunately I don’t even know the whole secret… but I will give you the ingredients and maybe some of you “chefs” out there can clue us in on the proportions for a great marinate… however, I must say, it is difficult to mess up – without any measurements I even managed to make this taste five start… or maybe that was our neighbors BBQ’ing expertise…
Neighbors… it is not often that we know the people that we share a wall with or in our case, a courtyard with. What a shame. Relationships waiting to happen. Its never too late, it took Rob and I about 8 months to finally connect with ours but we are so glad we did. With very little effort from each of us, we pulled together this great summer dinner… we hope you will do the same.
Mix all the ingredients together (adding more or less of something until it taste delicious).
Pour into a bowl or baggie and add meat. Marinate for at least a half hour or longer.
Tonight we had a lovely dinner with our two dear friends, Todd and Trista. Todd is one of the most gracious people you will ever meet and his wife Trista is as funny as he is gracious. Together, they are the perfect pair. Her eye for detail and color made this such a beautiful meal to capture.
Say goodbye to pizza sauce in a jar. This stuff is delicious and so easy to make. Just as the picture shows, a few simple ingredients makes this about the best pizza sauce you have ever had.
The T&T… The Todd & Trista salad… inspired by these two… you have something peppery, sweet, crunchy, salty and perfectly smooth. Delicious.
Mix all together. Let sit for at least a half hour. A few side notes… I like to use the extra sauce to dip the crust in (with a little extra Olive Oil of course)… but you can even take a step further and triple this recipe, freezing some for future meals. It freezes great and maybe taste even better because all the flavors have been married longer.
Also – must give credit where credit is due. This recipe has been slightly altered from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. Please check there for the original and other good ideas!
shaved red onion
Mix ingredients together for salad dressing (altering as your taste buds demand)
Combine salad ingredients and be sure to toss with dressing before serving… I swear it taste better that way.